Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round: 1984

This page contains a more detailed guide to significant events concerning Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round in 1984.


  • 11 January: The Scarborough Evening News reports the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round is running a deficit (apparently only a four figure amount though) for the first time since it opened in 1955; the veracity of this is hard to prove as the theatre's first two years did not return a profit.
  • 18 January: Tom Laughton steps down as chairman of Scarborough Theatre Trust.
  • 21 January: BBC2 broadcasts English Files featuring A Cut In The Rates by Alan Ayckbourn, recorded at the venue in 1983.
  • 23 January: The BBC records Alan Ayckbourn and Paul Todd's revue The 7 Deadly Virtues at the theatre in front of a live audience.
  • 2 March: Deadly Virtues is broadcast on BBC1; only four of The 7 Deadly Virtues are included in the half-hour broadcast hence the shortened title.
  • 14 March: Tom Laughton dies at his home in Scalby, Scarborough; Alan Ayckbourn later dedicates his new play A Chorus Of Disapproval to the passionate supporter of the theatre.
  • A new logo for the theatre is introduced having previously been changed eight years ago when the theatre moved venues.
  • The theatre cafe is renamed The Square Cat - in honour of the 25th anniversary of the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's first play.
  • The Arts Council threatens to cut the theatre's budget, putting its future at risk…
  • A threat compounded by North Yorkshire County Council refusing to extend the lease of Westwood by another decade deeming the building too valuable a property for the theatre. Alan Ayckbourn responds by threatening to leave the town with the company noting: "There are plenty of theatres that people would want me to run." The threat receives national media coverage and the County Council eventually commits its support two years later and renews the lease.
  • Malcolm Hebden is appointed Associate Director of the theatre; this is the first of two tenures he will spend as Associate Director.
  • 2 May: The Spring / Summer season opens with the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's A Chorus Of Disapproval.
  • 15 July: The theatre's cricket team, the Stephen Joseph Occasionals face its biggest match yet against a team from the National Theatre at Staxton Cricket Club.
  • 26 September: The Autumn / Winter season opens with Last Of The Red Hot Lovers by Neil Simon.
  • 29 September: The Rounders youth group is relaunched with Scarborough senior lecturer Eric Prince now in charge of the programme.
Click here to go to 1985.
Article by and copyright of Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce this article without permission of the copyright holder.