Alan Ayckbourn & The Stephen Joseph Theatre

To understand Alan Ayckbourn's career in a wider context, you have to examine the history of his adopted home theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

This was founded in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, as The Library Theatre by theatre pioneer Stephen Joseph as the UK's first professional theatre-in-the-round company. Two years later, Alan Ayckbourn joined the company and has been associated with it ever since. It is no understatement to say the Stephen Joseph Theatre has had a profound effect on Alan Ayckbourn, his writing and directing as well as his entire professional theatre career.

It was here he took his first steps as a professional actor and director and the three homes of the company have seen the vast majority of Alan Ayckbourn's plays premiered there. Between 1972 and 2009, he was the Artistic Director and continues to enjoy a close association with the company.

This section of Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website offers an insight into theatre-in-the-round in Scarborough from its foundation in 1955 to Alan Ayckbourn stepping down as Artistic Director in 2009. It provides a historical context to the theatres which have played such a pivotal role in the work of Alan Ayckbourn as well as that of his most influential mentor, Stephen Joseph.
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