Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre: 1965

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 1965. The article The Final Year? also explores the significance of 1965 in the company's history.


  • Early plans for the summer season consist of Clemence Dane's Granite, The Man With The Load Of Mischief, Brandon Thomas's Charley's Aunt and Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest. Only Granite will actually be produced from this initial selection.
  • 27 March: At a board meeting, it is agreed five girls "dressed suitably" would tour Scarborough hotels as publicity agents for the Library Theatre; only two boys and a girl were actually employed (Elspeth Cole, Roland Joffe & Clive Goodhead).
  • 27 March: Alan Ayckbourn is asked to become a member of Scarborough Theatre Trust.
  • Due to lack of funding, a curtailed summer season is announced opening later than originally planned.
  • July: Most of the staff for the summer season are students drawn from the University of Manchester.
  • 5 July: The summer season opens with Clemence Dane's Granite.
  • 8 July: World premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Meet My Father; retitled as Relatively Speaking in 1967, it will launch Alan Ayckbourn to fame with a hit West End production.
  • 9 July: At the first Annual General Meeting of Scarborough Theatre Trust, it is suggested the company will not perform again at the Library Theatre following the end of the 1965 summer season.
  • 10 July: Stephen Joseph writes to the Library's Director Mervyn Edwards noting the liklihood the Library Theatre will close at the end of the 1965 season.
  • Despite the news of the closure having been threatened for several years, Ken Boden later said it was still a shock: "We had the best season ever… when, out of the blue, Stephen [Joseph] announced that there weren't going to be any more seasons here. He was moving on."
  • 12 August: Alan Plater's See The Pretty Lights receives its world premiere at the Library Theatre as part of a triple bill of plays; this is the first play by Plater to be produced by the company.
  • 12 August: Also amongst the triple bill is David Mercer's The Governor's Lady and Henry Livings' The Day Dumbfounded Got His Pylon featuring a special guest appearance of Eileen Derbyshire, already famed for her long-running role as Emily Bishop in television soap opera Coronation Street.
  • 27 August: Stephen Joseph publicly announces in the Scarborough Evening News that the Library Theatre, Scarborough, will close at the end of the 1965 summer season.
  • 18 September: The final performance of the season at the Library Theatre takes place; potentially the final professional production at the venue.
  • September: Tickets sales for the season are shown to be substantially higher than previous seasons despite a rise in prices. The increase was attributed to successful and appealing plays, guest artists and the weather.
  • 30 September: The Stage reports this has been the Library Theatre's most successful season with attendances rarely falling below 94% of capacity.
  • November: A document - Reasons For Closing The Library Theatre - is published by Scarborough Theatre Trust detailing why the Library Theatre has closed and why the company must find a new home, probably outside Scarborough.
  • 17 December: A decision is made that Scarborough Theatre Trust will only continue with the intention of finding a new home for the company; it is confirmed there will be no professional performances at the Library Theatre in 1966.
  • 30 December: The first television broadcast of a play premiered at the Library Theatre is screened on BBC1 with David Campton's Soldier From The Wars Returning.
Click here to go to 1966.

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