Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre: 1974

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 1974.


  • 21 January: Hull Arts Centre tours Colin Welland's Say Goodnight To Grandma to the Library Theatre for two nights.
  • Responsibility for Scarborough Library is moved to the county council rather than the town council; this will lead to considerable issues regarding the future of the company and the Library Theatre.
  • The Arts Council Of Great Britain increases its grant to the Library Theatre to £16,500 (including a £2,000 guarantee against loss) to cover the summer and newly launched winter seasons.
  • 17 June: The summer season opens with the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends.
  • 26 September: Scarborough Theatre Trust informs the Opera House Preservation Society that it is not interested in a proposed amalgamation of resources and companies to purchase the Opera House as the venue is not suitable for the Trust's purposes.
  • 30 September: The first winter season since 1961 is launched at the Library Theatre with the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Confusions.
  • October: The company is loaned the use of a new carpenter's workshop at the Museum of Bygones premises - previously sets had to be built on the roof of Scarborough Library!
  • 9 October: The first tour by the company since 1962 is launched with Alan Ayckbourn's Confusions visiting Hull Arts Centre, Lincoln, Warwick and Ulverstone.
  • November (TBC): Despite the earlier letter, Alan Ayckbourn meets representatives of the Opera House Preservation Society; he reports in frustration the Society does not understand the aims of Scarborough Theatre Trust and the Society are completely different.
  • 12 November: A second local tour with Alan Ayckbourn's Confusions playing weekly in Scarborough, Whitby and Filey until 19 December.
  • 12 November: Scarborough Theatre Trust applies to the Libraries Committee at North Yorkshire County Council for a 40 week season during 1975.
  • 22 November: The application for a 40 week season is turned down by North Yorkshire County Councillor; it is reported opposition has been led by Councillor Erkki Lahteela, who is also the chairman of the Opera House Preservation Society.
  • 25 November: In a full page interview in the Scarborough Evening News, Alan Ayckbourn threatens to quit Scarborough if the 40 week season is not agreed.
  • 26 November: Hull Arts Centre offers itself as a new home for Alan Ayckbourn and the Scarborough company.
  • 26 November: Councillor Lahteela resigns as chairman of the Opera House Preservation Society and makes the extraordinary statement that neither he nor the county council realised just 'how famous Alan Ayckbourn was."
  • 28 November: The Opera House Preservation Society offers Scarborough Theatre Trust use of the Opera House if it meets 50% of the cost of buying the lease; Alan Ayckbourn responds by saying he would be interested if the Opera House was then knocked down and a new theatre built in its place!
  • 8 December: Scarborough Theatre Trust is informed the former St Thomas Church may be offered as a new home for the theatre; as a result of this plans for The Esplanade site are abandoned.
  • 23 December: World premiere of Janet Dale's The Christmas That Nearly Wasn't. This marks the beginning of regularly scheduled shows for children, which prove to be phenomenally popular over the coming years.
  • The fund for a new building to house the company is reported to now stand at £30,671.
Click here to go to 1975.

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