New writing given a chance at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Playwright Matt Hartley
Playwright Matt Hartley

The Stephen Joseph Theatre is offering theatre-goers the chance to be among the first to discover new playwriting talents as part of its Summer Festival.

Rehearsed readings of new plays by four young playwrights will take place in the McCarthy auditorium. Each of the plays is under consideration as part of the venue’s future programme. The plays will be read by professional actors from the Summer Festival company.

The first is Slow On-Set Emergency by Kate Brower on July 7at 7.15pm. Reeling from the premature death of her husband, Janet decides to volunteer to help run a food bank in a neighbouring parish. However, she discovers that those in real needs are closer to hand than she first thought.

On August 18, Matt Hartley’s Throne is a dark comedy about families and what they inherit. Croft Enterprises is one of Yorkshire’s most prestigious family firms. William Croft plans to announce who is going to take over the running of the empire. This will be the moment that means they finally confront their past.

The Beach House, by Jo Hartley, can be seen on August 25. It sees Kate and Oliver searching for a new home. Kate’s pregnant and they don’t have long to decide. When they find the Beach House, they think it’s perfect, but then Kate’s sister Jenny arrives and events take an unexpected turn. The Beach House is a bittersweet play about sisters, love and betrayal.

The last in the series is John Barton’s Husk on September 22. Jake is 16 and half-wild, scourged daily at the hands of a vengeful grandmother and her listless husband. A chance encounter with a girl from the woods sends him headlong towards a dark and dangerous future.

Associate director Henry Bellis helping to develop the play readings, says: “Since its early days under the leadership of Stephen Joseph, this theatre has had a real commitment to discovering and nurturing new writing.”

Tickets for the play readings are £6 each – please call the box office on 01723 370541 or visit the website: