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David Porter » Reviews » High Tide Festival 2010

High Tide Festival 2010

High Tide Festival, Halesworth

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 3 May 2010

Three Plays

The annual High Tide Festival arrived in Halesworth, securely establishing itself as a high-quality forum for new, contemporary, cutting-edge theatre by unknown, developing writers, ranking it alongside top regional and national festivals.

Three new plays were on offer along with discussions and films. ‘Lidless’ by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig used the tiny Scout Hall as a barracks at Guantanamo Bay, in a mock-site-specific setting for a disturbing tale of a former female interrogator and detainee who tracks her down to ask for a kidney as he is dying, in return for what she and the Americans did to him.

In the theatre at The Cut, ‘Moscow Live’ by Serge Cartwright is set in a state-run English-language TV station in Moscow, and is about the news and truth, about relationships in a working environment and the clash of views between Britons, Russians and the lands between.

Beth Steel’s ‘Ditch’ is in a future England engulfed by floodwater, where a faceless tyranny rules people clinging to precarious survival in an isolated corner, people who are powerless as global war finally finishes them off.

The plays are hard-hitting, almost heavy political messaging and thought-provoking and if the writers are all young, it says how concerned they are about the present and their futures.

The acting is consistently high-order interpreting the powerful writing, images and human stories. The whole stays in the mind for a long time, as good theatre should.

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