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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The Birthday Party: Harold Pinter's famed play which was lambasted on its West End debut in 1958. Its second production in 1959 was produced by Studio Theatre Ltd, at the invitation of Stephen Joseph, and marked Harold Pinter's professional directing debut. The cast drew from the Scarborough company with Alan Ayckbourn playing Stanley and The Birthday Party was rehearsed in-the-round at Scarborough Library. The production was not performed in the town but was part of Studio Theatre Ltd's winter tour.

The Bob Watson Archive: The Stephen Joseph Theatre's private archive which holds material relating to the history of theatre in the round in Scarborough. The archive was maintained by Bob Watson (1996 to 2004) and Simon Murgatroyd (2004 to 2022) and is currently maintained by Jeannie Swales (2022 - present).

Boden, Ken: The general manager of theatre in the round in Scarborough for many years. Ken Boden (1920 - 1991) was a keen local amateur theatrical who became involved with Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, when Stephen Joseph founded the company in 1955. Over time he became more involved and was largely responsible for keeping the theatre alive when Stephen Joseph planned to close it in 1965. He was theatre manager from 1955 through to 1986 at ithe company's' first two home of Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre and the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round.

Books: There are surprisingly few books written about Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph or theatre in Scarborough. Notable publications Alan Ayckbourn - Grinning At The Edge (Paul Allen), A Pocket Guide To Alan Ayckbourn's Plays (Paul Allen),The Crafty Art Of Playmaking (Alan Ayckbourn), odern Dramatists: Alan Ayckbourn (Michael Billington), The History of Scarborough (Jack Binns), Stephen Joseph - Theatre Pioneer and Provocateur (Paul Elsam), A Guided Tour Through Ayckbourn Country (Albert-Reiner Glaap), New Landmarks in Ayckbourn Country (Albert-Reiner Glaap), Confusions to Roundelay (Albert-Reiner Glaap), Writers And Their Work: Alan Ayckbourn (Michael Holt), Theatre in the Round (Stephen Joseph), New Theatre Forms (Stephen Joseph), The History of the Playhouse in England (Stephen Joseph), Laughter In The Dark (Albert E Kalson), Unseen Ayckbourn (Simon Murgatroyd), Conversations With Ayckbourn (Ian Watson).

Boothby's Garage: A former garage in Scarborough on Falconer's Road considered for conversion as a potential home for theatre in the round during the 1970s. It was demolished in the early 1970s.

Borthwick Institute for Archives: The Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York holds the Ayckbourn Archive, which it acquired in 2011 for the nation. See also Ayckbourn Archive.

Bradley, Alfred: Senior and much respected producer at the BBC who employed and mentored Alan Ayckbourn when he joined the BBC in 1964; he was renowned for discovering and encouraged new writing talent. Alan Bradley (1925 - 1991) was also instrumental in helping to keep Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, running following Stephen Joseph's death in 1967.

Bridge, Peter: Theatre impresario and producer. Peter Bridge (1925 - 1982) was Alan Ayckbourn's first London producer and was responsible for bringing Mr Whatnot (which flopped) and the stellar successes of Relatively Speaking and How The Other Half Loves to the West End. He was also a board member of Scarborough Theatre Trust for many years.

British Library: The British Library, London, holds one of the most significant collections of archival material relating to Alan Ayckbourn. This includes original copies of all his early plays as well as The Ramsay Archive; the archive of the famed literary agent Margaret 'Peggy' Ramsay which contains correspondence between Alan and his agent.

Brits Off Broadway: An annual Off-Broadway festival celebrating British Theatre based at the 59E59 Theatres, New York. Alan Ayckbourn has taken the Stephen Joseph Theatre company there to great success several times with his productions of Private Fears In Public Places (2005); Intimate Exchanges (2007); My Wonderful Day (2009); Neighbourhood Watch (2011); Arrivals & Departures (2014); Time Of My Life (2014); Farcicals (2014); Hero's Welcome (2016); Confusions (2016) and A Brief History of Women (2018).

Broadway: Through Alan Ayckbourn, a number of plays which premiered in Scarborough have gone to have productions on Broadway. These include: How The Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, The Norman Conquests, Bedroom Farce, Taking Steps, A Small Family Business and By Jeeves. In 1976, the sign at Broadway and 45th Street was changed to Ayckbourn Alley for the day to mark Alan Ayckbourn's achievement of having four plays running simultaneously on Broadway.

Burniston Road: Former allotments in Scarborough off Burniston Road which were considered for conversion as a potential home for theatre in the round during the 1970s. The site was eventually used for the Kinderland attraction and is now part of the Open Air Theatre development.

Brunswick Centre: A shopping centre on Westborough - built on the site of the former W Rowntree and Sons department store - opened in 1990. In 2021, it was acquired by Scarborough International Group which intends to open a multi-screen cinema in December 2024 and reposition the centre as a leisure-led facility.

By Jeeves: Alan Ayckbourn and Andrew Lloyd Webber's award-winning revamp of their flop musical Jeeves (1975), which opened the new Stephen Joseph Theatre in April 1996 before transferring to the West End and later Broadway.

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.