Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre: 1975

This page contains a more detailed guide to significant events concerning Scarborough's Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre in 1975.


  • 3 January: North Yorkshire County County Council reverses its decision from November 1974 and agrees to a 40 week season for the Library Theatre during 1975, but at the end of which, the company must leave the library by January 1976.
  • 3 January: Having only raised £400 by the financial deadline, the Opera House Preservation Society is unable to purchase the £30,000 lease of the Opera House.
  • 31 January: The architect George Alderson announces detailed plans are being drawn up regarding the possibility of converting the former St Thomas' Church into a new home for the theatre.
  • February: Tony Banfield is appointed the new press officer for Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre.
  • 10 March: Scarborough Theatre Trust is granted permission for change of use for the former St Thomas' Church from church to theatre.
  • 16 June: The summer season opens with the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce; commissioned by the National Theatre, permission is given for its first production to take place at Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre.
  • May: It is widely reported in the press the company will move to a new theatre in the former St Thomas Church in June 1976, following extensive conversion work.
  • July: Alan Ayckbourn purchases the former residence of his mentor Stephen Joseph in Scarborough.
  • 14 July: Hugh Mills' play Angels In Love replaces the advertised world premiere of Up To The Eyes by Peter Bridge; the latter - a comedy whodunit featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, Philip Marlowe and Sherlock Holmes - was withdrawn as the script was not what the theatre had anticipated.
  • Summer: The matinee children's shows on Saturdays regularly pull in audiences of more than 500 over two performances each week; the productions are called The Rounders' Club (not the same as the later Rounders' youth drama group).
  • 15 August: The cost of converting St Thomas' Church into a theatre is estimated at £170,000, rising to £180,000. The cost of the conversion raises serious doubts about the viability of the project.
  • August: Scarborough Theatre Trust asks North Yorkshire County Council for an extension of its use of Scarborough Library from January 1976 to January 1978, whilst work on converting St Thomas's Church is carried out.
  • September: Scarborough Theatre Trust is granted listed building consent and planning permission to convert the former St Thomas' Church into a new theatre.
  • 22 September: World premiere of Bob Eaton and Peter Clough's ambitious biographical play Brontës.
  • 15 October: World premiere of Stephen Mallatratt's An Englishman's Home; an actor with the company, this marked Stephen's first professional commission and began an acclaimed career as playwright and screenwriter. Alan Ayckbourn would later describe it as "a near perfect first play."
  • 29 October: Scarborough Town Council reveals previously secret plans to construct a purpose built theatre-in-the-round on the site of the Vernon Road car park, Scarborough, opposite Scarborough Library; permission to proceed with the plans is approved at the same meeting.
  • The Arts Council of Great Britain reports that Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre has the highest percentage attendance of any subsidised regional theatre in England.
  • 12 November: Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre stages its first play by the American playwright Arthur Miller with a production of A View From The Bridge, directed by Paul Webster. It proves very popular with schools studying the play.
  • With plans approved for a new purpose-built theatre, all work towards converting the former St Thomas' Church is shelved.
  • December: Scarborough Town Council offers Scarborough Theatre Trust the former Westwood County Modern School premises in the Valley Gardens as a temporary home until the new Vernon Road theatre is built.
Article by and copyright of Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce this article without permission of the copyright holder.