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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Theatre-in-the-round: Theatre-in-the-round or arena staging is a performance space where the acting space is entirely surrounded by the audience. It has been argued this is both the purest form of theatre and oldest form of theatre. Alan Ayckbourn has written the vast majority of his plays for theatre-in-the-round, where they are initially produced.

Theatre in the Round: Book by Stephen Joseph detailing his thoughts and experiences on theatre in the round including its history and practical advice on creating theatre in the round spaces. Most significantly, two chapter so fate book relate to the founding of and first ten years of Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre in Scarborough. Published by Barrie and Rockliffe in 1967.

Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre: The home to the country's first professional theatre in the round company, created by Stephen Joseph in 1955; the title is generally - and inaccurately - contracted to The Library Theatre (actually the name of the venue rather then Stephen Joseph's company). Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre was based on the first-floor Concert Room at Scarborough Public Library and was home to the company between 1955 and 1976 before it moved to the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round. Alan Ayckbourn became the Artistic Director of the company in 1972. Throughout its 20 years in the library, Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre was only a temporary operation ranging from eight week summer seasonss in its early years to 40 weeks a year in the mid 1970s.

Theatre in the Round at Westwood: The original name for the second home of theatre in the round in Scarborough. After the company left Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1976, it moved to the former Westwood County Modern School (originally the Municipal School) and the building was called Theatre In The Round At Westwood; possibly due to the fact this was not intended to be a permanent relocation. Two years later, the theatre was renamed the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round with the company being based there until 1996.

Theatre in the Round Ltd: The company formed by Stephen Joseph to run Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre in the immediate aftermath of Studio Theatre Ltd transferring to Stoke-on-Trent to run the Victoria Theatre in 1962. Theatre in the Round Ltd ran the Scarborough company from 1962 to 1964 until it was replaced by Scarborough Theatre Trust.

Theatre Royal: The oldest theatre in Scarborough which was operational for almost 200 years from c.1733. Located on Tanner Street (now St Thomas Street), it began as a tented booth with a small theatre replacing that c.1770 which was expanded c.1896 and continued until 1924. It was renamed the Theatre Royal in 1838 after a visit by the Price and Princess of Oldenburg. In 1914, it was renamed the Theatre Royal Cinema and predominantly used for films, which it had been occasionally showing since 1896. The building was demolished in 1928 as part of a road-widening scheme.

Theatre Royal Cinema: See Theatre Royal.

Theatres: Scarborough can lay claim to a rich history of theatre dating back to 1733 and which also includes the UK's first professional theatre in the round company, one of them largest open air theatres in Europe and one of the oldest operating theatres in England. Theatres in the town over the centuries include (not including previous homes and alternative names) but are not limited to: Albert Hall, Alexandra Hall, The Aquarium Theatre, Arcadia Theatre, Capitol Theatre, Floral Hall, Futurist Theatre, Gaiety, Londesborough Theatre, Olympia Picture Palace, Open Air Theatre, Opera House, Pier Pavilion, Prince of Wales Theatre, Spa Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Theatre Royal and the YMCA Theatre.

Towards Ayckbournia in Germany: A 'festschrift' by Albert-Reiner Glaap published by Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier to celebrate Alan Ayckbourn's 80th birthday during 2019.

A Trip To Scarborough: An adaptation of R.B. Sheridan's 1777 play by Alan Ayckbourn, which was premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 8 December 1982. The most extensive of his adaptations, Ayckbourn kept the bare bones of Sheridan's 18th century plot interweaving it with two further plots of his own set during World War II and contemporary Scarborough. The play was originally set in the foyer of the Royal Hotel, Scarborough, partly due to Tom Laughton, who had restored the hotel to become one of the most opulent in the town and who was friends with Alan Ayckbourn. When the playwright revived and revised the play in 2007, the playwright made it clear it was no longer specifically set in the town's Royal Hotel due to its deterioration under subsequent owners.

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.