New chairman for arts festival

A new chairman has been announced for a theatre company that hosts an arts festival in Halesworth.

Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Peter Wilson is to additionally take on the role of chairman for the Hightide Festival Theatre.

The theatre has brought a festival to Halesworth for the past six years, as the town hosts playwrights and theatre normally found in London or Edinburgh.

Steven Atkinson, artistic director of Hightide, said: 'Peter Wilson is one of the most extraordinary producers working in theatre today.

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'He brings to Hightide all of his experience working in the West End, in the regions, and in the leading international theatres: all of which we hope are part of Hightide's future under his leadership.'

Mr Wilson, who was this year presented with the Denise Anderson award at the EDP Business Awards, is also chairman of the SeaChange Trust and Shaping Norfolk's Future's Creative Industries Board.

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He said: 'HighTide is rapidly becoming the centre of new writing for the stage, so I am proud to have been asked to chair the Festival.

'Suffolk is lucky to have such a great team, both in the office and on the Board. I feel incredibly optimistic about the future of the festival, and look forward to continuing the excellent work of Mary Allen in supporting Steven, Holly and the team.'

The Hightide Festival will run from Thursday, May 2 to Sunday, May 12, with more than 80 performances.

The full line-up is expected to be announced in March, with shows to include Bottleneck by Luke Barnes, which is at the Soho Theatre, in London, next year, Neighbors, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Smallholding by Chris Dunkley, and Pastoral by Thomas Eccleshare.

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