Scarborough A - Z

The A - Z is an alphabetical guide to people, places and events relating to theatre - with an emphasis on theatre in the round - in Scarborough. This is an ongoing project, produced in association with the Encyclopaedia at with new content being regularly added. To begin exploring, click on a letter in the right hand column below.


A - Z
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Aberdeen Cinema: See Gaiety Cinema.

Aberdeen Walk Picture House:
See Gaiety Cinema.

ADMirable Partnership: A partnership of Alan Ayckbourn, Lord Downe and Charles 'Mac' McCarthy, founded in 1990 to secure the lease of Scarborough's former Odeon cinema for conversion into the Stephen Joseph Theatre. The partnership raised the £150,000 to secure the 99 year lease (each partner contribution £50,000).

Albert Hall:
A theatre opened in 1878 on Aberdeen Walk, which was converted into the Electric Palace de Luxe cinema in 1912, but which was closed in 1919. The building was weakened during the bombings of Scarborough in 1941 and collapsed in July 1942.

Alderson, George: Architect who worked extensively to find a new home for theatre in the round in Scarborough between the mid 1960s and mid 1970s. Designer of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round (1976).

All Saints Church: A former church in Scarborough on Falsgrave considered for conversion as a potential home for theatre in the round during the 1970s. Consecrated in 1868, it was demolished in 1975.

Allen, Roland: Pseudonym under which Alan Ayckbourn wrote his first four plays (The Square Cat, Love After All, Dad's Tale & Standing Room Only). A combination of his then wife's name and his own (Christine Roland & Alan Ayckbourn), it was no secret who the playwright actually was as it was reported in both programmes and the press. Alan stopped using the name when he joined the Victoria Theatre as a founding member of the company in 1962.

Alexandra Gardens: See Floral Hall.

Alexandra Hall: A former theatre / music hall in Aberdeen Walk which was built in 1859 and used as a theatre until 1880. It was renamed St George's Hall at some point. The site is now a retail premises but part of the upper floor facade survives.

Aquarium Theatre: See People's Palace and Aquarium.

Arcadia Theatre: A former theatre on the foreshore - not to be confused with Kiralfy's Arcadia Theatre - which opened in 1912 as the Palladium Picture Palace but was renamed in 1920 as the Arcadia and ran live shows until 1968. At which point, the Futurist Theatre - next door to the Arcadia - was expanded and took over the Arcadia site. The Futurist Theatre was demolished in 2018.

Architects: With regard to theatre in the round in Scarborough, there are three architects of note. Stephen Garrett was responsible for designing Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre (1955 - 1976) with the help of Stephen Joseph. George Anderson was responsible for designing the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round (1976 - 1996) and Henry 'Harry' Osborne for the Stephen Joseph Theatre (1996 - present); the latter two venues added by the insights of Alan Ayckbourn.

Archivist: Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist is Simon Murgatroyd M.A. who is responsible for creating and curating this website and Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website. He also maintains the Ayckbourn Archive amongst other responsibilities. His professional website is

Arena: On 4 February 1976, the BBC arts documentary series dedicated an episode to Alan Ayckbourn and the world premiere of his play, Just between Ourselves. As well as extensive interviews with Alan Ayckbourn, the documentary has footage from Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre, rehearsals at St Thomas' Church, the playwright's home as well as footage of Scarborough.

Artistic Director: Theatre in the Round in Scarborough has had four Artistic Directors since it was founded in 1955: Stephen Joseph (1955 - 1965); Alan Ayckbourn (1972 - 2009); Chris Monks (2009 - 2015); Paul Robinson (2016 - present). Between 1967 and 1972, a Director of Productions (essentially an Artistic Director in all but name) was appointed annually: Rodney Wood (1967 - 1968); Alan Ayckbourn (1969 - 1970, 1972); Caroline Smith (1971). From 1986 to 1988, an Associate Artistic Director (or Co-Artistic Director) was appointed whilst Alan Ayckbourn was a company director at the National Theatre: Robin Herford (1986 - 1988).

Ayckbourn, Alan: Playwright and director who has become synonymous with theatre in the round and Scarborough. Alan Ayckbourn (1939 - present) joined Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre in 1957 as an acting stage manager before receiving his first playwriting commission, The Square Cat, in 1959. He made his professional directorial debut in 1961 with the company directing Patrick Hamilton's Gaslight. Having left the company is 1962, he continued to premiere plays there and in 1969 was appointed Director of Productions. In 1972, he was offered the permanent role of Artistic Director, which he held until 2009. He was responsible for moving the company into its next two homes - the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round and the SJT - whilst championing Stephen Joseph's legacy of theatre in the round and new writing. He was knighted in 1997 for 'services to theatre' and is the only playwright to have received both the Tony and the Olivier Special Awards. Full details of his life, careers and plays can be found at

Ayckbourn Archive: The Ayckbourn Archive is held in the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University Of York. This was Alan Ayckbourn's personal archive until it was acquired for the nation in 2011. Encompassing material from throughout the playwright's life, it is the single largest archival resource relating to Alan Ayckbourn in the world.

Ayckbourn Collection: A curated collection of significant items relating to Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph and theatre in the round in Scarborough which was donated to Scarborough Museums and Galleries in 2023. The collection was facilitated and curated by the playwright's archivist, Simon Murgatroyd. It is the only collection of material relating to Alan Ayckbourn in a public collection in his home town.

Ayckbourn, Heather (née Stoney): See Heather Stoney.

The Scarborough: A - Z section of the website is created in collaboration with Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website. Original research is by Simon Murgatroyd and copyright of the author. Please credit this website if reproducing the information.