The Stephen Joseph Theatre (1996 - 2009)

The Stephen Joseph Theatre is the third and current home of theatre in the round in Scarborough and has been operating since 1996. This website only looks at the period from 1996 to 2009, when Alan Ayckbourn stepped down as Artistic Director of the company.

The Stephen Joseph Theatre opened on 24 April 1996 and was a £5.2m conversion of the town's Odeon Cinema. It has two performance spaces, The Round and the end-stage The McCarthy. For the first time, the company had rehearsal, administration, outreach, workshop and production facilities all within one space.

This section touches upon the Stephen Joseph Theatre and offers a glimpse of what the original intentions for the building and company were - sadly, much of this has been forgotten or replaced following Alan's departure as Artistic Director. In recent years, Alan Ayckbourn has spoken of how at times he has regretted moving the company to such a large scale building as more was lost than ultimately gained.

Certainly, from a historical perspective, the current home is less interesting in what it has achieved for Scarborough than the previous two ground-breaking venues during the first five decades of the company. But, as Stephen Joseph himself might note, the revolutionary inevitably eventually becomes the conventional and the established.

As a result, there is less emphasis on the Stephen Joseph Theatre in this website than
Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre and the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round. To find out more about the SJT today and its aims and ambitions, details can be found on its own website.
All research for this section by Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce the articles or images without permission of the copyright holder.