High Tide Festival

FRANK CLIFF The Cut, Halesworth


The Cut,Halesworth

The Cut at Halesworth has achieved its biggest coup yet with the High Tide Festival of new writing focused on the work of young artists. Central to these three days over the Easter weekend were eight short plays, generally of a very high standard and covering a wide range of themes.

Sarah Cuddon's Weightless was a fantasy, the story of Beth selected to be the first female astronaut, and the conflict this brings between her and her ailing father. By turn funny and moving, it had great performances from Jennifer Kidd, Charlie Rowe and Celia Adams.

Not unexpectedly several plays offered different takes on sexual relationships. Steven Bloomer's witty comedy You Were After Poetry dealt with the familiar problem of a couple's break-up, while Ian Wetherby's hilarious two-hander offered a deliciously bizarre view of a couple trying to communicate while sitting at the grave of a pop star in a Paris cemetery. Pericles Snowdon's thoughtful VI/VII dealt with the morning after a one-night stand, complicated by the fact that the couple — she English, he Pakistani — discover this is the morning of the July bombings. Powerful performances here from Celia Adams and Riz Ahmed, and an equally powerful one also from Charlie Covell as a disturbed teenager in Sam Holcroft's Ned and Sharon.

Megan Walsh's Lyre with its slightly sinister brother-sister relationship seemed less well focused; Matt Morrison's Inside Out, two intertwining monologues was excellent though its true medium would seem to be radio, and Tom Basden's Assembly about the difficulties of forming a new political party was superb comedy.

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Great writing, superb performances and full houses will hopefully help establish this festival as an annual event.

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