The Ayckbourn Archive: The Stephen Joseph Theatre

These images are drawn from The Bob Watson Archive at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and feature images of its founder and original Artistic Director, Stephen Joseph. Stephen was an influential British theatre pioneer during the 1950s and 1960s and is also regarded by Alan Ayckbourn as his most significant and influential mentor.

Stephen Joseph

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Title: Wuthering Heights (1956)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Stephen Joseph founded the Library Theatre in Scarborough in 1955; it was the UK's first professional theatre-in-the-round company. He was a theatre pioneer who championed new writing and theatre forms. In this photo, Stephen (left) is 'directing' Wuthering Heights.

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Title: Alan Ayckbourn (1958)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Stephen Joseph is considered by Alan Ayckbourn to be his most influential mentor and the man responsible for encouraging him to both write and direct. This is Stephen and Alan in 1958 at tthe Library Theatre; the year after Alan joined the company as an actor and assistant stage manager.

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Title: Frankenstein (1959)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Stephen Joseph was a man of many talents, although acting probably wasn't one of his finest. Here he plays the Creature in David Campton's adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at the Library Theatre.

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Title: Rodney Wood (c.1958)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Stephen Joseph backstage at the Library Theatre with the stage manager Rodney Wood.

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Title: Stephen Joseph (1960)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A publicity image of Stephen Joseph taken circa 1960.

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Title: Then… (1960)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Stephen Joseph directing Alan Ayckbourn and Faynia Jeffery in David Campton's Then…, which involved both actors having to perform with paper bags over their heads.

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Title: Standing Room Only (1961)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Stephen Joseph on the set of Alan Ayckbourn's 1961 play Standing Room Only; a play set on a double decker bus in a grid-locked London set in the 'far future' of 2010!

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Title: Stephen Joseph Sitting (1960)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: One of the more well-known publicity shots of Stephen Joseph; it was used as the cover for Dr Paul Elsam's biography Stephen Joseph: Theatre Pioneer and Provovateur.

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Title: Rhetoric (TBC)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Stephen Joseph was well-known for his often imposing appearance of leather jacket, docker boots and wooden knits - here he's attending a town meeting and caught in full-flow!

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Title: Stephen Joseph - Park (1960)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Another publicity shot of Stephen Joseph taken circa 1960.

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Title: Home (1964)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Stephen Joseph probably at home in 1964.

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Title: Stephen Joseph (TBC)
Photographer: Unknown (© Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A portrait of Stephen Joseph.

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