Asmara Gabrielle, Maggie McCarthy, Wendy Morgan and More to Star in HEROINE & KANYE THE FIRST

Asmara Gabrielle, Maggie McCarthy, Wendy Morgan and More to Star in HEROINE & KANYE THE FIRSTHighTide have today announced casting for Heroine and Kanye The First, their world premiere commissions for 2017. Heroine, co-production with Theatr Clwyd by Nessah Muthy (The Host) will be directed by HighTide's Artistic Director Steven Atkinson with a cast including: Asmara Gabrielle, Maggie McCarthy, Wendy Morgan, Lucy Thackeray and Hannah Traylen.

Asmara Gabrielle, who plays Grace, is a newcomer to a lead stage role. Comic drama Kanye The First by Sam Steiner (Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons) is a co-production with Paul Jellis in association with The Marlowe and The North Wall, directed by HighTide Associate Director Andrew Twyman and the cast will include: Imogen Doel, Caroline Faber, Daniel Francis-Swaby and Keziah Joseph. Imogen Doel will lead the cast and has extensive experience in theatre, having previously performed in a number of West End productions, as well as multiple collaborations with Anthony Neilson.

Muthy's devastating exploration of patriotism and nativism in modern Britain follows young ex-soldier Grace as she struggles to reassimilate into society following a medical discharge from the army.

Steiner's first commission, and highly original new play will be the first major stage work around one of the most celebrated artists in popular music history, charting the second coming of global pop icon Kanye West. The play takes a timely look at identity and guilt in contemporary culture.

Alongside these productions Theresa Ikoko's Girls, joint winner of the George Devine Award (2016), the Alfred Fagon Award (2015), is set to return with a new cast including: Heather Agyepong, Yvette Boakye and Yasmin Mwanza. Telling the tale of three young friends who are kidnapped in Nigeria, Ikoko wrote Girls to highlight the stories behind the headlines that quickly become yesterday's news. Girls is a co-production between HighTide, Talawa Theatre Company and Martha Rose Wilson.

The Suffolk festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016, is set to continue its winning formula of finding, commissioning and producing the country's best new playwrights at its home in Aldeburgh in September. This year the company will transfer the productions to East London's Walthamstow in a brand new temporary theatre space with Waltham Forest Council and in association with The National Theatre. 'The Mix' will come to London's Walthamstow Town Centre for 12 days following the Aldeburgh season, bringing an eclectic arts programme to an area of London which currently has no mid to large scale theatre spaces and where there are consequently relatively low levels of engagement with theatre. The diverse programmes in both locations will include three headline plays and a programme of comedy, cabaret, talks and music. The Festival in Aldeburgh will run 12 - 17 September with a Press Day on 16 September. The Walthamstow Festival will run 26 September - 8 October with Press Nights on 26 & 27 September.

Kanye The First was developed through The Marlowe's Roar programme.

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