Caterpillar at Theatre503

Tuesday 31 July 2018

London Fringe - Shows

Alison Carr's play, Caterpillar, a finalist in the Theatre503 playwrighting award 2016, gets its world premiere this Autumn.
Caterpillar at Theatre503

Image: Small Truth Theatre

From 29 August to 22 September Small Truth Theatre will present the world premiere of Alison Carr's Caterpillar, a finalist in Theatre503's 2016 playwrighting award - one of the five shortlisted plays from over 1,600 submissions.

Set against the backdrop of a sleepy seaside town, Ms Carr's enigmatic drama sees three characters build smokescreens around themselves, hiding from their responsibilities, themselves and each other.

The play follows a man trying to fulfill a strange promise to compete in Bognor Regis' Birdman competition as he accidentally ends up more involved than intended in the lives of the mother and daughter running his B&B.

Every year in the seaside town of Bognor Regis, people throw themselves off the end of a pier in an attempt to win the International Birdman competition.

Joining other pot-bellied Spidermen falling into the sea, Simon arrives at Bayview B&B looking for somewhere to stay the night, but when he meets owner Maeve and her daughter Claire, not everything is as it seems.

Combining dark comedy and tender drama, Caterpillar explores the moment when we find ourselves standing on the edge, and whether we dare to step off.

Director Yasmeen Arden said ...

"As a reader for the Theatre503 playwriting award it's always a joy to find a play that jumps to life off the page and Caterpillar literally flies off the page!

It's set by the seaside - so what's not to love?

I completely fell in love with it on first reading it and couldn't wait to meet Alison at the award ceremony to tell her what a fan I had become of her.

Luckily we hit it off and I'm so excited to get this beautiful, compelling and funny play on the stage and share it with everyone."

About the playwright

Originally from the North East, writer Alison Carr recently completed an attachment with the National Theatre and her credits include Hush (Paines Plough, RWCMD, The Gate); Iris (Live Theatre, winner Journal Culture Awards 'Writer of the Year'); The Soaking of Vera Shrimp (winner Live Theatre/Empty Space Bursary Award) and Fat Alice (Traverse Theatre, Oran Mor, The Lemon Tree).

She is a member of the Traverse Fifty and a founder member of Forward Theatre Project with whom her work includes Clothes Swap Theatre Party (Derby Theatre) and Can Cause Death starring Olivier-Award winner David Bradley and performed at Latitude Festival, Northern Stage and the National Theatre.

About the director

Yasmeen Arden is Artistic Director at Small Truth Theatre and has directed full length, short plays and rehearsed readings at a variety of theatres including, Arcola Theatre, Theatre503, New Diorama, Soho Theatre, Jermyn Street Theatre, Sackler Studios at Shakespeare's Globe, Somersault and Latitude Festivals and Watford Palace, as well as sight specific work.

Her production of NEST by Katy Warner, was described as 'one of the highlights' of Vault Festival 2018 and she recently directed Christopher Hogg on his TEDx Talk. 

Small Truth Theatre is an award-winning company that seeks to create theatre that is collaborative, detailed and experiential.

It is a collective that is proud of its working-class roots and strives to give voice to the seldom heard.


"I expect the plummet, I brace, but no.

The wind is now a breeze is now a whisper and I've stopped; suspended in the sky …”

Bayview is the only B&B closed for business on the busiest weekend of the year in this faded seaside town.

Greasy fish 'n' chips, sticks of rock and pot-bellied Spiderman is throwing himself off the pier.

The annual 'Birdman' competition is in full flight.

Caterpillar is a darkly funny, searing and tender drama about when we find ourselves standing on the edge, do we dare to step off?


Judith Amsenga

Tricia Kelly

Alan Mahon


Author: Alison Carr
Director: Yasmeen Arden
Designer: Holly Pigott
Lighting: Ben Jacobs
Sound: Jac Cooper
Production: Small Truth Theatre in association with Theatre503


The Latchmere
503 Battersea Park Road
SW11 3BW


From: Wednesday 29 August 2018

Closed: Saturday 22 September 2018


Previews: £10

Standard: £18

Concessions: £12


Show website
ActDrop full listing for Caterpillar

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