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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Laughter In The Dark: An academic hardback edition by Albert E. Kalson. Published in 1993 by Associated University Presses, it discusses Alan Ayckbourn's plays and themes and introduces the concept of the A (Ayckbourn) Effect as well as referencing the playwright's relationship with his home town of Scarborough.

Laughton, Tom: Scarborough hotelier and well-known figure in the town. Tom (1903 - 1984) was the brother of the actor Charles Laughton, also born in Scarborough, and was most associated with the Royal Hotel; he wrote a book Pavilions By The Sea about his experiences with the Royal and Scarborough. He was a keen art collector - much of which was gifted to Scarborough on his death - who was also chairman of Scarborough Theatre Trust for many years as well having considerable involvement in Scarborough's cultural history. Alan Ayckbourn's play A Chorus of Disapproval is dedicated to Tom Laughton.

Lawrence House: A building on Westborough considered as a potential home for theatre in the round in 1971. At this point, the residential house connected to a later hall extension used as a Christian Science Church. The proposal would have combined the two buildings into a single theatre centre. The building is now a medical centre with the facade of the residential property retained but the old hall demolished and replaced.

The Library Theatre: The name commonly - and inaccurately - given to Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre, home to the country's first professional theatre in the round company, created by Stephen Joseph in 1955. 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 venue in 1972. To be strictly accurate, the term Library Theatre refers to the venue at the library - which was used generically for any company performing in that space. Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre was the title specifically used by Stephen Joseph to identify his company's performance.

Literary and Mechanics Institute: Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre was based at Scarborough Library from 1955 to 1976. Prior to becoming Scarborough Library, the building was the Library and Mechanics Institute (Generally known as the Mechanics Institute) between 1862 and 1929.

Londesborough Rooms: see Londesborough Theatre.

Londesborough Theatre: Theatre on Westborough which opened in 1872 - having been remodelled from the Londesborough Rooms which opened the previous year. Extensively remodelled in 1914 - possibly with the intention of becoming a cinema - live performances predominated until 1925 when it became a full-time cinema which operated until 1959, before being demolished in 1960 to be replaced with retail premises.

Longwestgate: Street in the old town of Scarborough where Stephen Joseph lived for much of his 12 years in the town and whose house was later bought by his protégé Alan Ayckbourn.

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.