Objectives of A Round Town - Theatre in the Round in Scarborough

This complementary website to Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website take an in-depth look at theatre in the round in Scarborough, its development and impact on the cultural heritage of the town as well as the inextricable connection between theatre in the round and the pioneer Stephen Joseph and the playwright Alan Ayckbourn.

A Round Town covers the period from 1955, when Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre was founded by Alan's most influential mentor Stephen Joseph, to 31 March 2009, when Alan Ayckbourn stepped down as Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Genesis of the Project

The website initially began life as a sub-site on Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website looking specifically at the history of the Stephen Joseph Theatre - the company with which Alan Ayckbourn is most associated.

However, as a lifelong resident of Scarborough and follower of theatre in the round for almost four decades, I felt it more important and appropriate to launch an independent site which shifted the perspective from just the theatre company itself to Scarborough, Stephen Joseph and Alan Ayckbourn and how theatre in the round have all have played a crucial role in the cultural development and heritage of the town.

The website covers almost 1,000 pages and is a personal, passion project. As Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist since 2005 and, formerly, the Stephen Joseph Theatre's Archivist, I have always been fascinated by the history of theatre in the round in Scarborough and its association with Alan Ayckbourn and his mentor, Stephen Joseph.

A Round Town has developed from my long-term interest and research into theatre in the round in Scarborough. Its framework is derived from earlier SJT-related sub-sites on Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website, but extensively revised, re-written and re-designed. Every existing page has been altered, updated or re-written to be joined by completely new material. The website will also be updated regularly with new material relating to different aspects of theatre in the round in Scarborough's history.

Since 2023, I have been actively taking the story of theatre in the round in Scarborough into the town community (see
Talks & Events) and this served as an inspiration to rethink and relaunch the website, looking at the wider picture of theatre in the round's relationship and contribution to the seaside resort.

Although this site is not specifically about the Stephen Joseph Theatre; that is not to say it isn't a significant resource regarding the company. Despite the alterations, this still remains the most comprehensive public resource relating to the first five decades of the company and its founder.

Research Notes

All the material used in the research for this section of the website is held in the Ayckbourn Archive, the Library Theatre collection at Scarborough Library and private collections. The majority of information has been drawn from publicly accessible brochures, programmes, press cuttings, publications and Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website.


A Round Town is a subsidiary website of Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website and is neither affiliated to nor endorsed by the Stephen Joseph Theatre and does not reflect the views or opinions of the company. All expressed views are the author's own and do not represent anyone else's opinions. The website is endorsed by Alan Ayckbourn but does not necessarily reflect his own views or opinions.

A Round Town - Theatre in the Round in Scarborough is considered part of
Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website.