A SUMMER of readings of new plays at the Stephen Joseph Theatre will kick off with Caterpillar by Newcastle playwright Alison Carr.

Each of the plays in the series will be read by actors from the theatre’s summer season shows, and will offer a glimpse into the future of potential new productions.

In Caterpillar, which was recently shortlisted for the Theatre503 Playwriting Award, amateur aviators descend on a seaside town to launch themselves into the sea. Claire, meanwhile, is looking after her mum following a stroke. She didn’t want to come back to the town she grew up in and now she’s putting off going home. Simon, a guest at their B&B, is here to fly in tribute to his late girlfriend.

Caterpillar will be read at 7.15pm on Monday July 3by actors Sarah Pearman, Gurjeet Singh (Billy in this season’s production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice) and Heather Stoney.

Born and raised in the North East, Alison lives in Newcastle. Her first full-length play Iris was performed at Live Theatre, Newcastle, last year, directed by Max Roberts and starring former Coronation Street actress Katy Cavanagh and Joe Caffrey. Last month Alison won the Journal Culture Award for 'Writer of the Year' for Iris.

Alison has had a long relationship with Live Theatre and previously won their 40th Anniversary Bursary in 2013 for The Soaking of Vera Shrimp which transferred to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It was directed by Rosie Kellagher, currently Literary Manager at the National Theatre of Scotland.

Other recent work in the North includes Remains, produced by troublehouse theatre as part of Bolton Octagon's Reveal Festival earlier this year, and a six-month attachment with Manchester's Monkeywood Theatre.

Elsewhere, earlier this year Alison wrote Hush, a new play for Paines Plough and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama that was produced in Cardiff and the Gate Theatre, London. She is a member of the Traverse Fifty, and her work with the Traverse, Edinburgh, includes Fat Alice and Noise.

Radio credits include Dolly Would for BBC Radio 4 and Yackety Yak (The Verb, BBC Radio 3).

Other play readings in the SJT’s summer season include Build A Rocket by Christopher York and The Space Between by Jackie Daly (both 19 July), False Flag by Rex Obama (26 July) and Revival by Anthony Frew (21 September).

To book, please call the box office on 01723 370541 or visit the website: www.sjt.uk.com