Eastern Angles return to the Hightide Festival

Helen Grady, Joe Jacobs & Antoinette TagoeAfter the success of last years visit of Parkway Dreams to the Hightide Festival the Eastern Angles team are delighted to be returning to the festival in 2014.

This time we’ll be performing Segun Lee French’s magical and moving Palm Wine and Stout.

‘A tale of pride and tenderness, money and mourning that is warm, sharp, funny and refreshingly challenging’ (The Stage)

The play is based on poet, composer and playwright Segun’s own journey back to a small, rural Nigerian village in search of his father. The funny and emotional story focuses on Taiye, a young British man on a quest to find out more about his African heritage – a challenging culture clash ensues incorporating music, dance and eccentric ancestors!

Palm Wine and Stout will tour East Anglia from the 6 March to 24 May and will play Hightide Festival on Thursday 17 April (two performances).

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Layout 1Town planning is a surprising subject for a play, but that of course was at the heart of Parkway Dreams. And in a curious coincidence planning also features in another Hightide / Eastern Angles collaboration.

On Thursday in Hadleigh The Brontes of Dunwich Heath and Cliff cast (which includes two Parkway Dreamers – Harry Waller and Laura Corbett) will give the first public reading of Joseph Wilde’s new play Last of The Pigs.

Last of the Pigs takes a humorous look at one family involved in a campaign against a large supermarket’s planning application to build a new store in their small town. Wilde himself has lived in Hadleigh since the age of 6 and has used the long running battle the town has fought with Tesco as the inspiration for the play.

joseph wildeThursday’s (12 December)  reading will take place at Hadleigh Guildhall at 3pm. Admission is free and tickets can be booked in advance via Hadleigh Town Council (01473 823884) or The Idler bookshop (01473 827752). There will be another opportunity to hear the play in a rehearsed reading at the Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich on Friday 24 January at 4pm 2014. Tickets will again be free and will be bookable from the EA box office (01473 211498).

(And if you are interested in hearing new plays at their early stages then look out for another Eastern Angles / Hightide collaboration in spring with another reading already being planned)

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The development of Last of the Pigs has been supported by Hightide through their Escalator Plays scheme, which initself is part of a wider Escalator Talent Development initiative that is supported by Arts Council England East. The scheme is designed to support early career playwrights from the East of England, and those wanting to work in the region to develop their work and showcase their work.

The current cohort of Escalator Hightide writers include Kenny Emson (writer of Parkway Dreams!!!), Thomas Clancy, Louise Gooding,  Catrionna Kerridge and Vinay Patel.  Needless to say there will be opportunities to hear more from these writers, and their work, at the HIGHTIDE festival itself.

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Other HIGHTIDE festival highlights for 2014 include 4 new premieres, visiting artists , a packed programme of readings, comedy and music.  Heres some blurb on those premieres

Incognito a world premiere by Nick Payne, winner of the Evening Standard Award for Best New Play. It is directed by nabokov Artistic Director Joe Murphy (Blink, The Taming of the Shrew, seen at Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal, and who was instrumental in bringing EA’s I heart Peterborough to Soho Theatre).

The other three premieres are Peddling, written and performed by Harry Melling, The Girl’s Guide to Saving the World the professional debut of Elinor Cook, winner of the George Devine Award 2013 for Most Promising Playwright and The Big Meal by Dan LeFranc which makes its European premiere following its off-Broadway premiere directed by ex RSC AD Michael Boyd.

Pretty stella company for Palm Wine and Stout I think!  The Hightide Festival takes place at The Cut in Halesworth and runs from the 10th-19th April. General sales open in February and keep an eye on the Hightide and Eastern Angles web sites for more.

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