Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre: 1976

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 1976.


  • January: North Yorkshire County Council reluctantly extends the use of Scarborough Library's facilities for the Library Theatre until the summer, at which point the company has to leave the venue.
  • 28 January: World premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's Just Between Ourselves.
  • 30 January: At a meeting of Scarborough Theatre Trust, it is agreed the company should move into the former Westwood County Modern School as a temporary base until the new Vernon Road theatre is built in order to allow the company to continue to present theatre all year-round in the interim.
  • Spring: The company's first international tour sees the company tour with Just Between Ourselves and Stephen Mallatratt's An Englishman's Home to Belgium, Holland and Germany.
  • Mervyn Watson is appointed the theatre's first Associate Director.
  • 10 May: The company has a month-long residency at Richmond's Georgian Theatre running until 5 June.
  • May: Stephen Wood - reported as Steve Wood in the Scarborough Evening News - is appointed the press officer for the company; it will begin a long association with the company which eventually sees him appointed General Administrator (later retitled Executive Director) of the Stephen Joseph Theatre between 1996 and 2015.
  • The actor Robin Herford joins the company beginning a long association with the company as actor, director, associate director and - between 1986 and 1988 - co-Artistic Director.
  • 14 June: The summer season opens with Molière's All The Best People; this marks the first time the company has presented a play by Molière.
  • 16 June: Following the failed attempt to save Scarborough's Opera House Theatre by the Opera House Preservation Society during 1974 / 1975, the theatre is re-opened by the theatre's owner Millet Investors, whose chairman is local businessman Don Robinson.
  • 28 June: North Yorkshire County Council agrees Scarborough Theatre Trust can lease Westwood for three years as a temporary home for the company; the Trust also agrees to raise £100,000 towards the proposed £500,000 cost of the new Vernon Road theatre.
  • July: Press reports indicate Scarborough Theatre Trust will actually contribute £120,000 to the new theatre alongside £230,000 from Scarborough Town Council with the remaining £150,000 expected to be made up by the English Tourist Board.
  • 8 July: Scarborough Theatre Trust confirms it will move into Westwood 'for a maximum period of three years' (it will actually be there for 20 years) at a cost of between approximately £20,000 - £30,000 to convert the premises into a suitable space.
  • 21 July: A production of Stephen Lowe's Comic Pictures features the world premiere of the one act play Stars; an actor with the company, Stephen Lowe goes on to a career as an acclaimed playwright.
  • 11 September: Final performance at the Library Theatre with Alan Ayckbourn's Just Between Ourselves.
  • 12 September: With just 60 days until the opening of the new theatre, work immediately begins on the conversion of the former school into a theatre-in-the-round. The cost is now reported at £35,000 for the conversion.
  • 17 October: The inaugural meeting of the The Friends of Scarborough Theatre-In-The-Round (changed from its proposed title of Theatre Supporters' Club) takes place at the Theatre In The Round At Westwood.
  • 26 October: Theatre In The Round At Westwood opens with a revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Mr Whatnot, one of the few Ayckbourn plays to have never previously been seen in Scarborough.
Click here to go to 1976 (Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round).

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