Former poet laureate Andrew Motion will make his playwriting debut in May with a controversial piece about Afghanistan called Incoming, which will receive its world premiere at the fifth annual HighTide Festival in Halesworth, Suffolk.

A powerful examination of the disturbing issues surrounding war and how hard it can be for those left behind, Incoming tells the story of Danny, a soldier killed in Afghanistan, his grieving widow Steph and their young son Jack.

Andrew Motion said: “We forget that we are a country at war, so it is important to be reminded about that and pay respect to those who have so bravely lost their lives. I’m very happy to have this opportunity at HighTide Festival.”

Co-produced with The Poetry Trust, following HighTide where it’s presented on 7 and 8 May 2011, Incoming will play at the Latitude Festival (15-17 July) and at the 23rd Aldeburgh Poetry Festival (4-6 November).

Founded in 2007 with the support of patrons David Hare, Bill Nighy and Sinead Cusack, HighTide produces emerging playwrights and contemporary theatre in the annual Suffolk-based festival. Its work has subsequently transferred nationally and internationally, including to London and to the Edinburgh Fringe. Its first West End transfer - Frances Ya-Huch Cowhig’s Lidless, which premiered at last year’s festival – opens at Trafalgar Studios 2 on 10 March, directed by HighTide artistic director Steven Atkinson.

Three other new pieces will be presented at the 2011 HighTide Festival, which runs from 28 April to 8 May: the European premiere of American Stephen Belber’s Dusk Rings a Bell about a teen romance reignited 20 years later; urban musical Nicked, written by performance Richard Marsh about the new coalition government; and Adam Brace’s new play Midnight Your Time, which stars Diana Quick and reunites the entire creative team behind Stovepipe, HighTide’s most successful production to date.