Search

Halesworth’s HighTide Festival hopes to build on successful year

10:04 29 May 2012

Steven Atkinson, founder-director of the HighTide Festival, Halesworth

Steven Atkinson, founder-director of the HighTide Festival, Halesworth

Archant

A celebration of playwrights and theatre has enjoyed a successful sixth instalment after a record attendance visited the Halesworth HighTide Festival.

The annual festival returned to Halesworth bigger than ever before earlier this month, and after seeing a rise in visitors to the town, organisers are hoping it will continue to grow.

Steven Atkinson festival director said it was a great festival and he was delighted that audience numbers increased as the number of plays grew from four shows to 18.

Mr Atkinson said: “The risk this year was if we would see new people at the larger festival. If not it means we would not need to grow, but there were definitely more people.”

Particularly popular productions included a headphone play around Halesworth and a children’s show, while star names including Downton Abbey stars Brendan Coyle and Lesley Nichol, and Susan Brown, of Torchwood, proved popular, as 75 of the country’s top actors and actresses travelled to the town.

Mr Atkinson said: “I think we increased the our audience by a third, which is a few thousand people more over the 10 day period.

“There were lots of people new to the festival with young people travelling from London, and lots more local people particularly interested in Griff Rhys Jones and Juliet Stevenson.”

Among the hopes for next year will be bringing a South African theme to the town’s Rifle Hall, which this year welcomed most US productions.

Mr Atkinson said that next year’s festival will start on May 1, and he is hoping they might be able to extend it even further to three weeks.

The festival was extended from a long-weekend to a two-week showcase last year, but after becoming a national portfolio organisation of Arts Council England, was extended further this year.

Mr Atkinson has previously stated that he hopes that in 20 years the event would be known as the theatre version of the Aldeburgh Festival, which is renowned for classical music.

0 comments

Other news

11:35
Dead fish at Acle Dyke. Picture: Supplied

Environment experts will survey the region’s waterways in the coming weeks to gauge what damage the recent storms caused.

Yesterday, 16:09
The church of St Nicholas, North Walsham. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

They are sites which tell the stories of our rich historical past – but more buildings, churches and conservation areas are now deemed at risk in the region.

Yesterday, 16:00
National Trust East of England environmental awards 2014 Photo Phil Mynott ©NT

The guardians of the region’s stately homes and protected countryside have given a pat on the back to their “green” champions.

Yesterday, 15:54
Chris Ball, pharmacist at Hurn Chemist in Norwich, who is part of a new campaign urging patients to cut down on wasted medicines. Picture: Supplied

Patients have been urged to help save the NHS millions of pounds after it emerged that almost £5m was being lost every year in Norfolk through unused prescription medicines.

Most read

Thursday, February 6, 2014
Polly Grieff and her husband Eric.  Their house Old Manor, in Saham Toney, will be on Restoration Home - one year on.  Picture: Ian Burt

It was its down-at-heel aura that first attracted Polly Grieff to the crumbling Old Manor at Saham Toney.

Read more
The Iceni Centre closes. Picture: Matthew Usher.

An attempt to revive a Breckland heritage site has failed after dwindling visitor numbers forced the owners to close the attraction.

Read more
11:35
Dead fish at Acle Dyke. Picture: Supplied

Environment experts will survey the region’s waterways in the coming weeks to gauge what damage the recent storms caused.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:22
Breckland Council. Picture: Ian Burt

A car park in Attleborough which was shut for resurfacing will reopen on Monday - with works set to begin in Watton.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00
National Trust East of England environmental awards 2014 Photo Phil Mynott ©NT

The guardians of the region’s stately homes and protected countryside have given a pat on the back to their “green” champions.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 10°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today E-edition