Movie star's scribbled gift for auction

Pink and blue highlighters and scrawled notes from acting star Bill Nighy pepper a Hollywood script that has gone up for auction.The script from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is being sold by Mr Nighy, also famous for roles in Love Actually and The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy as his contribution to fundraising for a brand new theatre festival.

Pink and blue highlighters and scrawled notes from acting star Bill Nighy pepper a Hollywood script that has gone up for auction.

The script from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is being sold by Mr Nighy, also famous for roles in Love Actually and The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy as his contribution to fundraising for a brand new theatre festival.

As one of the patrons of the High Tide festival, Mr Nighy has given his backing to the event, which will showcase young dramatic talent.

Ticket sales alone will not be enough to pay for the costs of the festival, running from April 6-8, so to raise extra cash the organisers looked for creative ideas and turned to the acting community for help.

The result is the auction, which has just started, with 10 rare or luxury items including the annotated Hollwood script, Sir Tom Stoppard's annotated script of his Coast of Utopia trilogy of plays, a gold lame dress worn by Diana Quick as Julia Flyte in Brideshead Revisited and a painting by Maggi Hambling.

Lunches with writer Sir John Mortimer and actors Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack are also on offer.

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Matthew Austin, a spokesman for the festival organisers, said the extra money was needed to pay actors and publicity costs.

“There's no funding from the arts council for this event,” he said. “So we need more money to break even and, hopefully, some of it can go towards next year's event.”

Bidding on the Bill Nighy script starts at £1,250 with that, and nine other items, on offer through an Ebay auction, while bidding for the lunches takes place at the High Tide after party on April 8 after a registration process.

Mr Nighy and fellow-actor Ms Cusack are patrons of the festival, alongside playwright Sir David Hare - although none of them will be taking part as the idea of the festival is to feature writers, actors and directors that are all under 30.

It is hoped that the festival will become an annual event with Halesworth likely to remain the venue for next year.

During the weekend festival, eight plays will be performed, all written by different writers and directed by different directors.

Alongside the full productions, rehearsed readings, workshops and masterclasses will take place alongside short films, poetry and live music as well as question and answer sessions.

t To bid in the auctions, visit www.hightidefestival.org or go to www.ebay.co.uk and search for 'HighTide'.