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Stephen Joseph Theatre Celebrates 60 Years in Scarborough

Scarborough Library Theatre 1975
July 2015 marks 60 years of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.

From its beginnings on 14 July 1955 as the Library Theatre, moving to the former boys' high school at Westwood in 1976 where it was renamed the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round in honour of its founder, to the converted Odeon where it has been based since 1996, the company has produced 327 world premieres and a total of 616 plays.

Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round at Westwood
In celebration of its dedication to finding the best new writing, the theatre is staging play readings at its first two homes before rounding off with the opening night of Alan Ayckbourn's Confusions.

Extracts from a selection of past premieres will be read in the original setting by actors from throughout the history of the SJT and directed by Artistic Director Chris Monks. Actors, directors, designers, crew and staff representing every decade of the company will also be attending the anniversary celebrations.

Readings at Scarborough Library in Vernon Road take place from 2pm and include the very first production, Eleanor D Glaser's Circle of Love, as well as These Iniquitous Corn Laws from Leonard Barras' 1970 three-part play The Shy Gasman which was directed by Ayckbourn, and James Saunders' 1959 play Alas, Poor Fred, one of the early successes from the company’s formative years.

At 4pm, the birthday celebrations move to Westwood for play extracts from premieres between 1976 and 1996. There will be the chance to hear Brian Thompson's Tishoo which marked the theatre's 100th new play in just 14 years, Peter Tinniswood's The Village Fete – a 1991 stage adaptation of the radio play of the same name, and Stephen Mallatratt's Touch Wood and Whistle, first seen in 1986.

The evening culminates in the opening of Alan Ayckbourn's classic comedy Confusions from 7.30pm at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. It is the first revival by the author who originally directed it in 1974, since when it has become one of the most popular and studied new plays of the last 40 years.

Tickets to the play readings on Tuesday 14 July are £12.50 per venue or £60 for a triple ticket, to include all anniversary day events, refreshments and a donation to the 7th Wave Fund in support of new work. Tickets are available from the box office on 01723 370541 and online at

Stephen Joseph Theatre Celebrates 60 Years in Scarborough Reviewed by Editor on 15:31:00 Rating: 5

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