Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre: 1970

This page contains a more detailed guide to significant events concerning Scarborough's Theatre in the Round at the Library in 1970.

For details of the schedule and company for 1970, visit the
1970 Details page.


  • Alan Ayckbourn is appointed (unpaid) Director of Productions for the summer season for a second time.
  • Summer: As part of the fund-raising efforts for a new theatre, the public is offered a chance to 'buy a brick' to help raise money. During the first summer, in excess of 15,000 bricks are reported to have been 'sold'; given the fund-raising figure only increased by £2,600 during the course of 1970, it seems likely this is either an inaccurate or mis-reported figure.
  • Circa 1 June: The proposed summer season was initially intended to feature five productions, but limited finances sees a planned Scarborough debut of Alan Ayckbourn's Mr Whatnot dropped and the season reduced to four productions.
  • 15 June: The summer season opens with Leon Katz's Wife Swapping: Italian Style; the play is later toured to Hull Prison. It was initially intended this production slot would be Mandrogla (The Mandrake) by Niccolo Machiavelli but Alan Ayckbourn decided to alter the production to a more traditional commedia dell'arte play which he deemed "newer and better".
  • 9 July: Hull Arts Centre - later the home of Hull Truck Theatre - makes the first of several visits to Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre for a week with the documentary play Settle Us Fair by Phil Woods; the production is almost cancelled in May as intended for end-stage performance with projection, there are issues with performing in an in-the-round space.
  • 16 July: World premiere of Leonard Barras's The Shy Gasman; although Barras never received widespread recognition he was well regarded as a talented comic playwright in obituaries marking his death in 2008.
  • 5 August: Alan Ayckbourn's play How The Other Half Loves opens in the West End; the second Scarborough play to receive a London transfer. It is reported at the end of the year, the Library Theatre has been receiving £35 a week in royalties from the production.
  • Circa-September: Planning permission is applied for to build a new theatre in Scarborough's Valley Gardens; despite support from the council, permission is refused and it is decided not to proceed with an appeal.
  • 12 September: The summer season at Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre closes with a rare substantial financial loss of £1,300. Of this, £900 is attributed to Alan Ayckbourn's decision to employ two more actors than originally budgeted for.
  • 16 September: Tom Laughton resigns from Scarborough Theatre Trust as his position as Chairman of The Crescent Residents' Association has led to him publicly opposing proposals for a new theatre in The Crescent, first mooted in 1969; at the same meeting, Alfred Bradley also resigns from the Trust.
  • December: A decision to assess the suitability of converting the Christian Science Church in Westborough into a new home for the theatre is made.
  • The fund for a new building to house the company is reported to now stand at £15,600.
  • 10 December: The theatre manager Ken Boden is made aware that Alan Ayckbourn will in all likelihood not be available to produce the 1971 summer season due to his commitments to the North American production of How The Other Half Loves.
  • 14 December: In correspondence to Alan Ayckbourn, Ken Boden notes that two people have been considered as Director Of Productions for the following summer, Philip Hedley and Caroline Smith, with the decision to approach the latter as the preferred choice.
Article by and copyright of Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce this article without permission of the copyright holder.