One of Scarborough’s leading venues for entertainment, the Stephen Joseph Theatre started life as the Library Theatre in 1956 by Stephen Joseph. It was the first professional English theatre-in-the-round company. After moving to the old high school at Westwood the company took its new name and moved to its current home – the iconic Odeon building in the heart of the town in 1996. Beyond being a pioneering project of Stephen Joseph, the theatre is also the home of the world’s most performed playwright, Alan Ayckbourn.
The venue has supreme onsite facilities. It features two auditoria, The Round, for which it is most well-known, seats 404 audience members, and the more traditional McCarthy theatre which seats 165 which also screens cinema and live streaming performances from around the world. Visitors can also benefit from its onsite bar and shop to complete the theatre trip.
Programming at the Stephen Joseph Theatre is eclectic and versatile, continuing Stephen Joseph’s legacy of new writing as well as showcasing a wide variety of drama, comedy, music, film and live streaming’s. Beyond its choice of shows, the theatre consistently engages with its local community via workshops, courses, classes and various projects. In the words of Paul Robinson, Artistic Director the SJT will “programme work which is of the highest quality and which appeals to the widest, most diverse, audience; one which future-proofs the theatre: popular, yes; human, certainly; often innovative, visually daring, funny, surprising, always relatable and definitely with lots and lots of heart.”
Over the years, the Stephen Joseph Theatre has become much more accessible by adapting its facilities and programming. The team work with Dementia Action Alliance to also extend accessibility to those with dementia.
Its accessible features include: