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 explore Stephen Joseph's influence on and connection with Alan Ayckbourn as well as offering a brief background to the influential figure. Anyone looking for further details about Stephen Joseph is encouraged to visit the
Researching Stephen Joseph section which offers details of archival collections pertaining to him.

2021 UPDATE: This section has been slimmed down to focus on the relationship between Alan Ayckbourn and his mentor, Stephen Joseph. The former expanded section on Stephen Joseph is intended to be restored to the site at some point in the future.
All research for this section is by Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce any articles or images without the permission of the copyright holders. Image of Stephen Joseph copyright of Scarborough Theatre Trust.