Ayckbourn Influences: Stephen Joseph

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Stephen Joseph
(© Scarborough Theatre Trust)

Stephen Joseph is, inarguably, the single most influential figure in Alan Ayckbourn's life. Not only did Stephen guide and encourage Alan early in his career but he was also the first person to professionally employ Alan as both playwright and director.

Stephen's impact can be singularly seen in Alan's decision to run the Library Theatre, Scarborough, following his death. This ensured Stephen's legacy survived in the theatre that Alan Ayckbourn is inextricably associated with, the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Stephen Joseph, himself, was a British theatre pioneer during the 1950s and 1960s who, amongst many other achievements, was the founder of the Library Theatre in 1955, the UK's first professional theatre-in-the-round company.

This section, compiled and researched by Simon Murgatroyd and Dr Paul Elsam, explores the life and legacy of this key figure in British theatre with particular emphasis on his work at the
Library Theatre and his impact on Alan Ayckbourn.
All research for this section is by Simon Murgatroyd and / or Dr Paul Elsam. Please do not reproduce without crediting the authors and the website. All articles are copyright of the original author unless specified. Please do not reproduce any articles or images without the permission of the copyright holders. Image of Stephen Joseph copyright of Scarborough Theatre Trust.