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HighTide festival announces Curve’s Suba Das as new artistic director

PUBLISHED: 19:22 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:00 04 December 2018

Suba Das, from Leicester's The Curve, has been appointed as the new artitsic director for HighTide. He will be joining the Aldeburgh-based festival early next year.  Photo: Pamela Raith

Suba Das, from Leicester's The Curve, has been appointed as the new artitsic director for HighTide. He will be joining the Aldeburgh-based festival early next year. Photo: Pamela Raith

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HighTide, over the last decade, has established itself as one of the greatest champions of new theatre writing. The Curve’s Suba Das has been announced as the successor to HighTide artistic director Steven Atkinson when he steps down next year.

Steven Atkinson, the co-founder and out-going artistic director of the Hightide Theatre Festival in Aldeburgh. Photo: Sarah Lucy BrownSteven Atkinson, the co-founder and out-going artistic director of the Hightide Theatre Festival in Aldeburgh. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

New writing-theatre festival HighTide, which is staged in Aldeburgh each September, has unveiled its new artistic director – Suba Das, currently associate director of the Curve, Leicester.

Suba Das will join the HighTide team in early 2019, working alongside the co-founder and current artistic director Steven Atkinson, as he puts the finishing touches to his last festival.

Steven founded HighTide 12 years ago and based the festival in Suffolk – first in Halesworth at The Cut, and then, as a greatly expanded event in Aldeburgh.

HighTide champions new writing and offers opportunities for new actors and new directors to gain experience and showcase their work before transferring productions to London and Edinburgh.

Suba currently leads Curve’s Artist Development programmes, overseeing the commissioning and development of new work. Curve’s Inside Out Festival, established by Das in 2014, has seen over 20 world premieres reaching over 30,000 attenders and touring work to 100 cities and towns worldwide. Born and brought up in the North East, Suba is a trustee of the North Music Trust, which operates Sage Gateshead.

After reading English at Cambridge, he began his career as Resident Assistant Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East, with productions including a site-specific production of Medea using his own translation, with choreography by Kenrick Sandy of the Olivier Award-winning

street dance company Boy Blue Entertainment. In 2008, he became Resident Director at the

National Theatre Studio and English Touring Theatre. In 2010, he co-founded Custom/Practice, staging Off West End Award-nominated, site-specific productions of Othello, The Winter’s Tale and The Revenger’s Tragedy in collaboration with the Old Vic Tunnels and Hoxton Hall.

In 2012, he was appointed Associate Director at Curve and his directing credits include the world premieres of Wipers by Ishy Din and Pink Sari Revolution by Purva Naresh, and new productions of Abigail’s Party and The Cat In The Hat with Rose Theatre Kingston and the National Centre for Circus Arts.

Tim Clark, Chair of the HighTide Board said: “All of us at HighTide are delighted that Suba has agreed to be our next Artistic Director. We set out to find an outstanding and talented individual who would lead HighTide with passion, imagination, integrity and with a commitment to its mission, objectives and values.

“Suba’s approach to theatre and his tremendous achievements, particularly in the area of new writing, show that he completely meets this objective. He will be an inspiring leader, building on the huge successes achieved by Steven Atkinson at HighTide, and will continue to enhance the place that HighTide has earned in developing UK theatre over the last 12 years.

“With huge thanks to Steven for all his achievements, we now look forward to working with Suba to embrace our exciting future continuing to bring new work to diverse audiences in areas of low cultural engagement.”

Suba Das added: “What a privilege to take on the HighTide mantle. Over the past twelve years, HighTide has created the most stunning theatre and festival experiences across the UK. I’m grateful to Steven, the Board and team, and extraordinary supporters for creating the conditions in which our country’s very best writers have been able to emerge, dream and astonish.

“I’m also thankful to the audiences of East Anglia and Suffolk, who have shown such appetite and excitement for bold new work by diverse voices, supporting so many artists to thrive.

“With a new festival now planned for Lowestoft, I look forward to deepening our commitment to the East as our home first and foremost. A place where we sit at the edge of the country, looking back at the whole of a shifting UK; and out at a changing Europe. I can’t wait to meet the writers and makers of the East especially and see how we might together tell the region’s stories with pride for each other and for communities all over the world. As HighTide becomes a teenager, we’ll be even more rebellious, passionate, and playful. It’s going to be an adventure.”

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