The Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round: Alan Ayckbourn's Theatre Appeal Launch Poem

In May 1993, the appeal for the new Stephen Joseph Theatre was launched.
For the launch events, Alan Ayckbourn wrote a poem which - in Scarborough - was read by the theatre's Associate Director and actor Malcolm Hebden. This is the poem taking a gentle dig at those non-theatre goers.


I've never been one for the theatre
I've never been there in my life.
I'm not one for drama and suchlike -
I leave all that stuff to the wife.

I much prefer drinking to theatre
Theatrics go over my head.
While she sits there through Becket and Pinter -
I sit in the Shakespeare instead.

I did see one show by Lloyd Webber -
Les Miserable thing - what's its name? -
That's more what I'd term entertainment
Not theatre, it's hardly the same.

By theatre I mean all that talking.
And actors declaiming in tights.
And Mary and Joseph in cowsheds
And angels and shepherds with lights.

While punters in bow ties and ball gowns,
Are drowning a quick G and T,
And laughing at jokes in Old English.
That sort of thing isn't for me.

I like a good laugh, that's what I like -
A thriller, a show with a band.
A drama with plenty of passion,
A story that I understand.

You always get that on the telly,
Remember some shows that they've had -
They're brilliant them, those commercials,
And some of the programmes aren't bad.

So open your theatre by all means,
Thank the Lord, this here country's still free -
But until you do shows more like Brookside,
You won't get a visit from me.

Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.