Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre: 1958

This page contains a more detailed guide to significant events concerning Scarborough's Theatre in the Round at the Library (abbreviated to the Library Theatre on this page) in 1958.


  • Stephen Joseph decides to stop the playing of the National Anthem at every performance; he believes the Library Theatre is the first regional theatre in the UK to do this.
  • The Library Committee queries the Library Theatre serving refreshments after performances. After much debate, the Library Theatre is allowed to serve coffee and cakes, but not sausage rolls!
  • David Campton becomes the first writer at Studio Theatre Ltd to be subsidised by the Arts Council of Great Britain, when he receives a grant of £500 to enable him to carry on writing.
  • 17 February: Studio Theatre Ltd begins its first touring season with a production of Phèdre starring Margaret Rawlings. It will tour for two months including a visit to the Library Theatre from 17 March.
  • June: The summer brochure does not advertise Marivaux's Love & Chance as a double bill. However, when it emerges the new translation of the play by J.W. James will only run for 70 minutes, it is decided to produce it with Pirandello's The Man With A Flower In His Mouth.
  • June: Ken Boden's wife, Margaret, takes over the running of the Library Theatre box office.
  • 19 June: The summer season begins with Leo Lehman's Who Cares?
  • 23 June: The first in a series of letters is published in the Scarborough Evening News condemning Stephen Joseph's decision to stop playing the National Anthem at every performance.
  • With unreserved seating, Stephen Joseph notes this is causing problems with the increasing popularity of the venue; programmes ask audiences not to leave single seats free.
  • September: The regional media report that whilst the theatre has not replicated the success of the 1957 season, it has still played to 80% houses and been deemed a success.
  • September: Following the conclusion of the summer season on 13 September, the Studio Theatre Ltd embarks on an autumn tour to several venues.
  • In conjunction with the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Library Theatre offers travel subsidises to groups of eight or more travelling to the theatre from outside Scarborough.
  • 15 December: The winter season is launched with Jean Jacques Bernard's Martine. The short season will also include David Campton's Ring Of Roses and Valentin Kataev's Squaring The Circle.
  • December: Stephen Joseph commissions Alan Ayckbourn to write his first professional play after he complains about the quality of the role he is playing in David Campton's Ring Of Roses; for many years the offending play is reported as John Van Druten's Bell, Book & Candle as Ayckbourn did not wish to offend his colleague, Campton.
  • December: Harold Pinter rehearses The Birthday Party at the Library Theatre with the Studio Theatre Ltd company. This will be only the second production of the play and will mark the professional directorial debut of the author.
Click here to go to 1959.

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce this article without permission of the copyright holder.