Researching Alan Ayckbourn: The Bob Watson Archive

The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, is where Alan Ayckbourn has premiered the vast majority of his plays since 1959. He was Artistic Director of the venue between 1972 and 2009 and continues to premiere his new plays at the theatre as well as directing revivals of earlier work. In 2018, he was appointed the Director Emeritus of the company.

The Bob Watson Archive at the Stephen Joseph Theatre contains a variety of material pertinent to the world premiere of the Alan Ayckbourn's plays as well as his career as Artistic Director of the venue. The Alan Ayckbourn Collection at The Bob Watson Archive does not hold a catalogue, but a broad outline of what is held in the collection can be found below.
The Bob Watson Archive is not accessible to the public due to it primarily being an internal research resource for the company and, more practically due to limited resources, financial constraints and not having a full-time Archivist. The Archive has no facility for drop-in visits and no on-site facilities for researchers. All requests are dealt with by email and generally do not require physical access to the collection itself.

The majority of Alan Ayckbourn's full-length play-scripts (not original copies).
Production prompt scripts for many Ayckbourn premieres and productions at the venue since 1980.
Press cuttings for all of Alan Ayckbourn's productions at the venue.
Programmes, posters and occasional marketing material for the majority of Alan Ayckbourn's productions at the venue.
Photographs - production and rehearsal - for the majority of Alan Ayckbourn's productions at the venue.
A small collection of material, including programmes, for West End productions of Alan Ayckbourn's plays.
A limited collection of general Alan Ayckbourn press cuttings.
Manuscripts, press cuttings, programmes and photographs for all plays produced at the theatre whilst Alan Ayckbourn was Artistic Director of the venue.
Press cuttings, programmes and photographs for all plays directed by Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.