Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre: 1972

This page contains a more detailed guide to significant events concerning Scarborough's Theatre in the Round at the Library in 1972.

For details of the schedule and company for 1972, visit the
1972 Details page.


  • 15 January: A meeting of Scarborough Theatre Trust notes that due to rising financial costs, this could be the company's final professional season in Scarborough and that it should consider looking for a new home for the company in another town.
  • Despite this warning, detailed plans are published for the aims and objectives of the new theatre should it be built in the Christian Science Centre; the theatre is proposed to be an all purpose community arts theatre which could be used by any and all arts organisations in the town.
  • March: Having guaranteed the theatre against loss since at least 1964, Scarborough Town Council agrees to instead provide a direct grant to the company due to the guarantee creating substantial banking issues. As a result of this, the rent for the use of the Library facilities is also increased from £500 to £650 a year.
  • The Arts Council 'loans' a trainee administrator to help with the running of the theatre - particularly with regard to publicity; Meryl Robertson is considered the company's first press / publicity officer.
  • Alan Ayckbourn is appointed (unpaid) Director of Productions for the summer season.
  • Following decimalisation in 1971, the tickets prices are adjusted for the season with tickets priced at 50p (30p for concessions) and programmes charged at 3p.
  • For the first time, evening productions are brought forward to 7.45pm rather than the 8pm which had been in place since the theatre opened in 1955.
  • 12 June: David Campton's Carmilla is presented by the company at the new Crucible Theatre in Sheffield; although a new play, it is considered the world premiere takes place in Scarborough with the start of the summer season at the Library Theatre the following week.
  • 19 June: World premiere of David Campton's Carmilla, adapted from the classic Sheridan le Fanu vampire story; it will mark both the final premiere and production by the company of a Campton play.
  • 26 June: World premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Absurd Person Singular.
  • 17 July: A production of Uncle Vanya marks both the company's first production of a Chekhov piece and the first time Alan Ayckbourn has directed a play by his favourite playwright.
  • 9 August: Tranio's Box by Jennifer Smith is the first play presented by the company specifically aimed at children; it will also tour play-schools, hospitals and other venues.
  • Despite having considered buying the Scarborough Christian Centre as the new home for the theatre for two years, the lack of any firm commitment or decision leads the architect George Alderson to inform Scarborough Theatre Trust, the centre has now been purchased by another party.
  • Scarborough Theatre Trust agrees to investigate the possibility of converting All Saints Church in Falsgrave as an alternative new theatre; Alan Ayckbourn later notes he does not consider the church a suitable building.
  • A campaign to buy and save the Opera House Theatre in Scarborough is launched; there is disquiet in Scarborough Theatre Trust this could affect fund-raising for the new theatre with a competing rival in the town.
  • 12 November: Scarborough Theatre Trust appoints Alan Ayckbourn as Artistic Director of Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre. It is a position he will retain with the company until 31 March 2009 and between 1972 and 2009, he will never draw a wage as Artistic Director.
Article by and copyright of Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce this article without permission of the copyright holder.