The cast for the five monologues written for Love In The Time of Corona, as part of HighTide’s Lighthouse Programme, have now been released. Aisha Zia’s (No Guts No Heart No Glory, UK tour, BBC 4, Fringe First Award winner) piece will be performed by Jade Anouka (Last Christmas) while Katie Lyons (Manhunt, ITV) takes on Olivier Award nominee Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s work in the first of the monologues to be released on Thursday 9th April.
Sophie Melville (Bang, S4C) will share Ben Weatherill’s (Jellyfish, Bush Theatre and National Theatre, now in development with BBC) piece, BAFTA nominee Dawn King’s will be presented by Shobna Gulati (Coronation Street, ITV) and spoken word artist Debris Stevenson (Poet In Da Corner, Royal Court and UK tour, Evening Standard Best Newcomer nominee) will perform her own monologue. All five of the writers of Love In The Time of Corona are currently developing full-length plays for Suba Das’s inaugural HighTide Festival in 2021.
Filmed and edited through support from HighTide’s sponsor Lansons, one of the world’s leading reputation management companies, the first of these digital productions created by HighTide will be available for free from next week on their channels. The scripts will also be available royalty free for actors and directors to make their own digital versions and will be showcased on HighTide’s social media channels.
HighTide’s Lighthouse Programme consists of free, brand new projects and programmes for artists, audiences and communities, specifically created to bring light in the weeks ahead. HighTide are the first NPO to launch such a comprehensive programme of support for the sector, offering a range of programmes to help artists. These strands reflect the values that sit at the heart of HighTide: to introduce audiences to new work that speaks to the times we live in by the most exciting and diverse writers in the UK; to support emerging writers on their journey; and to engage communities in their home region in Suffolk.
Artistic Director of HighTide, Suba Das comments, Over 200 individual artists and companies have engaged with our Lighthouse Programme since we raced to create this new support programme the week that the theatre’s began to close; and our supporters have already donated £16,000 to these efforts, totally smashing all of our expectations. That tells us plainly that what we’re doing matters. It’s a strange and distressing time, but we’re so heartened that we’re helping provide a sense of focus and community. It’s an honour to have world class writing talents like Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and Ben Weatherill; and actors such as Jade Anouka and Katie Lyons supporting our efforts. It’s equally important that we’re reaching and supporting an emerging generation who risk losing the opportunity to fully develop their talent with the shutdown in place. So whether that’s with Dawn King’s livestreamed playwriting classes; or our Cancellation Catalogue through which we hope to rescue some shows that will no longer go to Edinburgh; or the online participatory work we’ll be doing with the Suffolk Young People’s Health Project; we hope that isolation doesn’t also mean silence.
The Lighthouse Programme also includes:
For writers from the East of England and/or from a socio-economically deprived background, Write That Play is a new programme to help new and emerging writers learn about playwriting craft and work towards completing a first draft of a new play. HighTide writer and BAFTA-nominated Dawn King will lead a live-streamed weekly workshop over ten weeks taking the group through playwriting exercises and tasks. At the end of the course, their completed draft can be submitted for notes. Applications for this exciting opportunity close on Tuesday.
Playwright Crisis Support Programme will see HighTide’s incredible alumni, including Luke Barnes, Kenny Emson, Anders Lustgarten, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Vinay Patel and Nick Payne, adopt an emerging writer. Over twelve weeks, the small group of writers will be looked after by the HighTide team and an alumni. The focus is artist wellbeing during this period of crisis and individuals goals will be set with each playwright; these could range from completing a new draft, facilitating for a writer to hear their work out loud, navigating the financial support available to freelance artists. Preference will be given to applicants from the East of England and/or from a socio-economically deprived background and applications close on Wednesday.
To further support playwrights moving forward with their practice, HighTide’s newly appointed Associate Artists, Aisha Zia, Chinonyerem Odimba, Chris Sonnex and The Queer House, have committed to regularly reading and feeding back on scripts. The Script Reading Service is open to all UK playwrights during submission windows, however priority will be given to writers who are based in the East of England and/or are from socio-economically deprived backgrounds. A hundred scripts were received in the first submission window last week, further windows will be announced in late April and June.
HighTide’s Cancellation Catalogue is for premiere runs of British new writing that were cancelled due to Corvid-19. Giving shows new life where opportunity was ripped away by circumstance, the pieces will be placed on a priority list for programming in the next HighTide Festival in Spring/Summer 2021.
In partnership with the Suffolk Young People’s Health Project (4YP) and Company Three’s groundbreaking Coronavirus Time Capsule programme, HighTide will create an online youth theatre space for some of the most vulnerable and isolated young people in the East of England. With sessions and content delivered by some of the UK’s most exciting theatremakers, and linking up similar youth projects all over the world, Let’s Create seeks to widen participants’ horizons, even during a time of lockdown.
Throughout the crisis and in partnership with Nick Hern Books, HighTide will share a regular programme of simple playwriting tasks and exercises created by great playwrights past and present to help keep boredom at bay. The traditional period of a quarantine was 40 days so HighTide will be sharing 40 simple standalone playwriting tasks across their social channels with 40 Plays / 40 Nights. They invite all writers with a wi-fi connection to share their responses for feedback, discussion and celebration.