The Stephen Joseph Theatre & Alan Ayckbourn

The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, is Alan Ayckbourn's home theatre. The vast majority of his plays have been premiered at the venue since his playwriting debut in 1959 and these productions are generally regarded as the definitive productions of his plays - directed by the playwright himself, in-the-round with the ensemble company of his choice.

The Stephen Joseph Theatre

The Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough is a regional producing theatre founded in 1955 by Alan Ayckbourn's most influential mentor, Stephen Joseph. Alan joined the company in 1957 and has been associated with the theatre ever since, between 1972 and 2009 he was the Artistic Director of the company and oversaw its move into its present home in 1996.

Inarguably, it is impossible to separate Alan Ayckbourn from the Stephen Joseph Theatre as both are so intertwined and have influenced each other in myriad different ways. It is impossible to fully appreciate Alan Ayckbourn's career in the theatre without understanding his relationship with the SJT. As a result, this website has an
in-depth SJT section running to more than 1,500 pages looking at the history of the theatre and company.

Founded as the UK's first professional theatre-in-the-round company, the - as it was then called - Library Theatre was created with two aims by Stephen Joseph, to promote alternative theatre forms such as theatre-in-the-round and to provide a platform for new writing. These two keystones have remained an integral part of the company throughout its existence. Throughout the decades the theatre has nurtured many playwrights - most notably Alan Ayckbourn - which also include Tim Firth, David Campton, Alan Plater, Torben Betts and Stephen Mallatratt amongst many others.

New writing is key to the SJT and since 2016 has been undergoing a resurgence. Since 1955, more than half the company's productions have been new plays making it one of the most successful, longest running and most prolific producer of new plays in the UK.

The SJT features two spaces, The Round - a 406 seat in-the-round space - and The McCarthy - a 164 end-stage space which also acts as a cinema. The producing season generally runs from June to December with visiting companies and productions taking place from March through January. Full details of forthcoming productions can be found at the SJT's website,

The SJT also has a thriving OutReach department which works both within the theatre and the community and is responsible for an increasingly popular and busy schedule of programming for young people.

The Stephen Joseph Theatre's Artistic Director is Paul Robinson and its Executive Director is Caroline Routh. During 2018, Alan Ayckbourn was appointed the first Director Emeritus.

To find out more about the SJT, visit the
in-depth SJT section on this website.

Upcoming Productions

Written & directed by
Alan Ayckbourn

2020 Productions to be announced soon

Related Pages

SJT Website
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