Alan Ayckbourn & The Stephen Joseph Theatre

To understand Alan Ayckbourn's career in a wider context, you have to examine the history of his adopted home theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

This was founded in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, as The Library Theatre by theatre pioneer Stephen Joseph as the UK's first professional theatre-in-the-round company in 1955. Two years later, Alan Ayckbourn joined the company and has been associated with it ever since. It is no understatement to say the Stephen Joseph Theatre has had a profound effect on Alan Ayckbourn, his writing and directing as well as his entire professional theatre career.

It was here he took his first steps as a professional writer and director and the three homes of the company have seen the premieres of the vast majority of Alan Ayckbourn's plays. Between 1972 and 2009, he was the Artistic Director and continues to enjoy a close association with the company.

This section of the website offers an insight into the playwright's 'home' theatre from its foundation in 1955 to Alan Ayckbourn stepping down as Artistic Director in 2009. It provides a historical context to the theatre which has played such a pivotal role in Alan's life as well as that of his most influential mentor, Stephen Joseph.
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