Stephen Joseph Theatre: 1999

This page contains a more detailed guide to significant events concerning the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in 1999.


  • 7 January: Yorkshire and Humberside Arts Council announces a 38% rise to funding of the Stephen Joseph Theatre by £114,000 to £410,000 although much of this is to offset the loss of a £100,000 grant from the Arts Council.
  • 11 January: The Gallery's new exhibition A Glimpse Into The Archive is the first exhibition to highlight material held within the SJT archive.
  • 16 January: First appearance at the SJT by the Yorkshire Building Society Brass Band which will become practically an annual fixture, first at the YBS Brass Band and later as the Hammonds Brass Band
  • 4 February: First night of Alan Ayckbourn's revival of Haunting Julia in The McCarthy; this play was conceived by Alan Ayckbourn to open The McCarthy in 1994 but when the building of the SJT fell behind and funding cuts affected the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round, Alan premiered it there instead in-the-round in 1994. The SJT production marked the first time the play was performed in the end-stage as originally conceived.
  • Spring: Connal Orton steps down as Literary Manager and is replaced by Laura Harvey.
  • Spring: Torben Betts is named as Resident Dramatist from 1999 - 2000.
  • 11 April: A Chorus of Approval takes place at the SJT, an evening to celebrate the 60th birthday of Alan Ayckbourn drawing many of the stars he has worked with over the decades. Gerald Scarfe is commissioned to create a portrait for the souvenir programme.
  • April: A new writing fund - the Chorus of Approval fund - is launched b y the SJT to raise money for new work. It is reported on 7 July it has already raised more than £16,000.
  • 12 June: World premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's House & Garden; two plays performed simultaneously in The Round and The McCarthy with one company moving between the town. The evening ends with a fête in the upper foyer in which audience and actors interact. The production generates interest from the national press and media.
  • 23 July: World premiere of A Listening Heaven by Torben Betts.
  • 27 July - 7 August: First visit to the SJT by its sister theatre, the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme, with She Knows You Know by Jean Ferguson.
  • 31 July: Platform talk with Ian Carmichael.
  • 26 August: The centenary of the birth of Noël Coward is marked by the production Noël & Gertie by Sheridan Morley, directed by Matthew Francis.
  • 11 September: Platform talk with the actor Martin Jarvis.
  • 1 October: The centenary of the birth of the actor Charles Laughton is marked with a revival of Hobson's Choice by Harold Brighouse. Laughton was born on the site of The Old Vic pub close to the SJT. A short film festival is also organised.
  • 16 October: Simon Callow presents an evening on Charles Laughton
  • 5 November: World premiere of Ben Brown's award-winning and acclaimed play Larkin With Women looking at the life and loves of the poet Philip Larkin and starring Oliver Ford-Davies as the poet.
  • 20 November: Platform talk with Alan Titchmarsh.
  • 27 November: Platform talk with playwright David Hare.
  • Date TBC: The Stephen Joseph Theatre is licensed as a marriage venue.
  • Date TBC: The third wedding at the SJT is for a couple who fly specially over from Australia.
  • Date TBC: Audio-described and signed-performances are introduced at the SJT.
Article by and copyright of Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce this article without permission of the copyright holder.