Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round: 1981

This page contains a more detailed guide to significant events concerning Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round in 1981.


  • 5 February: Alan Ayckbourn and Paul Todd's musical Suburban Strains tours to The Round House, London, for a month-long residency.
  • The theatre's first resident band, Our Band, is formed by the Musical Director Paul Todd alongside guitarist Iain Hawkins and pianist Dave Newton - the latter would go on to be regarded as one of the country's finest jazz pianists.
  • The coffee bar is renamed Doreen's Pantry serving food and snacks.
  • For the first time, all tickets in-the-round are reserved with the introduction of a two-tier pricing system; previously the theatre had worked with unreserved or a mix of reserved / unreserved seating
  • 20 May: The Spring / Summer season opens with Alan Ayckbourn's Season's Greetings- the new Ayckbourn play had been advertised as Sight Unseen but is never written and replaced at the intended start of rehearsals by Season's Greetings.
  • 12 August: World premiere of You Should See Us Now by Peter Tinniswood, who will go on to notable success as both playwright and screenwriter.
  • 2 October: The Autumn / Winter season opens with the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Way Upstream; the auditorium is flooded for the production and features a moving cabin cruiser. It is also the first play by the company to feature - albeit briefly - full frontal nudity.
  • 2 November: BBC Radio 4 broadcasts The Conservatory by Brian Thompson, the play was premiered at the theatre on 28 May and the BBC recorded the production at the theatre in early October.
  • 11 November: A mere 26 years after opening, the company stages its first Shakespeare play with Twelfth Night, directed by Robin Herford.
Article by and copyright of Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce this article without permission of the copyright holder.