The programme has been announced for the sixth annual HighTide Festival, which takes place at The Cut in Halesworth, Suffolk, from 3 to 13 May 2012.

Among the highlights is the European premiere of Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, which premiered in New York last year.

Performed by Daisey, the play “illuminates how the former CEO of Apple and his obsessions shaped our lives”, while sharing stories of Daisey’s own travels to China to investigate the factories where millions toil to make iPhones, iPods and iPads.

The festival will also feature the world premiere of rising star Ella Hickson’s new play Boys which, as previously announced, will subsequently transfer to the Soho Theatre, and 25-year-old Laura Poliakoff’s debut play Clockwork.

There will also be the premiere of four new American plays produced in collaboration with the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group.

This year marks the first time that HighTide has received core funding, having been named as one of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio Organisations. This has meant the festival has expanded from presenting four productions to this year staging 18.

HighTide artistic director Steven Atkinson said: “This year the Festival premieres new playwrights and new work with world-class partners The Public Theater, Nuffield Theatre, and Headlong, and with the most promising newer companies curious directive, Bad Physics, and Nabokov.”

“These eighteen plays are a huge expansion from our historical four. They present a wide range of new writing, from full production to work in progress, and experimentations in form including promenade performances and audio headset productions.”