The Ayckbourn Archive: The Stephen Joseph Theatre

These images are drawn from the Stephen Joseph Theatre Collection held at Scarborough Library and The Bob Watson Archive at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Scarborough Library holds a significant amount of material relating to the formative years of the Library Theatre between 1955 and 1976. This selection of significant documentation and material is reproduced with kind permission of Scarborough Library.

Stephen Joseph Theatre Archival Documentation

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Title: First Letter (1955)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: Scarborough Library

Description: The first letter between Stephen Joseph and Scarborough Library laying the groundwork for the formation of the Library Theatre during 1955.

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Title: The Round (1955)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: Scarborough Library

Description: The earliest known theatre-in-the-round design for Scarborough's Library Theatre, drawn by Stephen Joseph for Scarborough Library as an illustration of his ideas.

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Title: Invite (1955)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: Scarborough Library

Description: An invitation from Scarborough Theatre Guild to attend the opening night of the Library Theatre on 14 July 1955.

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Title: Promotional (c.1956)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Detail from a promotional flyer for Studio Theatre Ltd promoting its production and theatre-in-the-round. This is a fairly accurate floor-plan for the Library Theatre's layout.

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Title: National Anthem (1958)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: Scarborough Library

Description: During 1958, Stephen Joseph decided to end the tradition of playing the National Anthem at the end of all performances - the first regional theatre to do this. This was met by a hostile response from a vocal minority which Stephen Joseph addresses in this letter.

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Title: Brochure (1959)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust)
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Detail from a brochure for the 1959 summer season at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, including the world premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's first play The Square Cat (attributed to his writing pseudonym Roland Allen).

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Title: Programme (1959)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: An example of the standard programme cover design for the Library Theatre and Studio Theatre Ltd productions from 1955 to the mid-1960s. The logo is the first of the company's logo designs.

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Title: Beer Mat (c.1960)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A promotional beermat for the Studio Theatre Ltd tours from Scarborough featuring the Studio Theatre Ltd logo and Stephen Joseph's signature.

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Title: Round Sketch (c.1956)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A sketch of the performance space at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, probably by its founder Stephen Joseph. It was used in promotional materials, programmes and Stephen Joseph's book Theatre in the Round.

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Title: Pemberton-Billing (1957)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: A photograph of Stephen Joseph's housekeeper Mrs Pemberton-Billing (better known as P.B.) walking down Murchison Street, Scarborough, with an advertising board for the summer season's plays.

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Title: Memorial Theatre (1967)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: Following Stephen Joseph's death in 1967, a memorial appeal was launched to fund a new home for the company to be named The Stephen Joseph Theatre. This is the cover of the fund-raising launch leaflet with the proposed - but never used - former Claremont Building in Scarborough.

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Title: Programme (c.1972)
Copyright: Scarborough Theatre Trust
Archive: The Bob Watson Archive

Description: The generic cover for Library Theatre productions during the early 1970s - the title of the play would occasionally be featured but the design remained the same for several years.

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All material within this section is copyright of the respective copyright holder. Please do not reproduce or store any material without the permission of the copyright holder or the institution which holds the relevant material.