Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round: 1977

This page contains a more detailed guide to significant events concerning Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round in 1977.


  • January: Theatre In The Round At Westwood launches exhibitions to coincide with first nights of plays; the exhibitions are the idea of and overseen by press officer Stephen Wood.
  • January: Despite assurances to the contrary, the Technical College - which has the floors above and below the theatre - begin daytime metal and joinery workshops. The noise can clearly be heard throughout the theatre and threatens matinees and rehearsals.
  • 21 January: Scarborough Theatre Trust is informed that due to the local government finance situation, it is unlikely the plans for a new theatre at Vernon Road will be approved in time for a completion of autumn 1979; discussions about extending the lease at Westwood begin.
  • 23 January: The first Friends of Scarborough Theatre-In-The-Round annual general meeting.
  • 14 February: Originally presented as part of the 1976 winter season, Christopher Godwin's The Guv'nor returns for a week out of season.
  • 24 February: In 1955, the concept of theatre-in-the-round was compared to a boxing ring. In 1977 an evening of Scarborough Amateur Boxing allowed audiences to actually see boxing in the theatre.
  • Tickets for the summer season are priced at £1.30 with student and OAP concessions priced at 80p.
  • Spring: Weekly Sunday night jazz sessions featuring local jazz group 'Ardie are launched.
  • 10 March: Alan Ayckbourn relaunches the In The Round Festival for amateur groups, last held in 1968 at Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre, and is the adjudicator for the first four years.
  • 28 March: The Spring / Summer season opens with Fallen Angels by Noël Coward.
  • 29 April: Lunchtime entertainment is launched at the theatre for the first time with Westwood Coronation Day Street Party by Bob Eaton.
  • May: Membership of the Friends of the Scarborough Theatre-In-The-Round is reported to have risen to more than 600.
  • May: The acting company performs a one-off entertainment in the bar at the Opera House Theatre ahead of the venue's first anniversary on 16 June.
  • 7 June: To celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee, a one-off production of The Jubilee Show by Alan Ayckbourn and Mervyn Edwards is staged featuring the entire company. A late addition to the schedule, poorly advertised and competing with numerous other Jubilee events, it fails to attract an audience.
  • 6 August: Scarborough Theatre Trust is informed the cost of the Westwood conversion has been substantially underestimated and currently stands at £38,275 with bills still to come.
  • Summer: With news the Vernon Road project is on hold and no sign of an extension of the Westwood lease by North Yorkshire County Council, the future of the company is questioned - particularly as the Arts Council of Great Britain is only prepared to help if an extended lease of at least four more years is approved.
  • 4 October: The Autumn / Winter season opens with Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
  • Circa 11 October: The actress Petronella Ford leaves the company due to health issues with Heather Stoney taking her role for the final five performances of Pygmalion; the final two weeks of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? are subsequently cancelled with the first week replaced by a revival of The Guv'nor, which Christopher Godwin had previously performed both in 1976 and earlier in 1977.
  • 26 October: The first anniversary of the opening of Theatre In The Round At Westwood is marked with a post-show 'Know Your Westwood' quiz, organised by the company for the evening with a prize of a magnum of champagne.
  • Winter: Scarborough Council admits the new Vernon Road theatre project has been indefinitely postponed.
  • December: North Yorkshire County Council agrees to extend the Westwood lease by another seven years,
  • December: The County Council Education Authority is informed that more than 6,000 children will be attending special performances of productions at the venue in the coming months.
  • 2 December: With Westwood now looking like a long-term home for the company, Scarborough Theatre Trust agrees that it shall be renamed from 1 April 1978.
  • 31 December: Alan Ayckbourn is the guest of BBC Radio 4's With Great Pleasure; the programme is recorded at the Theatre In The Round In Westwood on 13 November 1977 with members of the company reading Alan's favourite poetry and prose. The audience primarily consists of members of the Friends of the theatre.
Article by and copyright of Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce this article without permission of the copyright holder.