Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre reveals its summer season for this year - including premiere of Alan Ayckbourn's new play

Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre has announced a season of shows for this year which will include three world premieres and the second outing for a play which played to packed houses at the National Theatre when it debuted three years ago.

By Sue Wilkinson
Friday, 9th April 2021, 11:56 am
Alan Ayckbourn's The Girl Next Door is part of the Stephen Joseph's summer season
Alan Ayckbourn's The Girl Next Door is part of the Stephen Joseph's summer season

The summer season will open on June 4 with new show by the theatre’s director emeritus Alan Ayckbourn, The Girl Next Door, followed by Laura Wade’s comedy Home I’m Darling, a co-production with Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake and the Octagon Theatre Bolton.

The autumn will bring a new adaptation of Benjamin Myers’ best-selling book The Offing, a co-production with Live Theatre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and this year’s Christmas show will be another new adaptation by Stephen Joseph stalwart Nick Lane, Jack and the Beanstalk.

The shows will be supplemented by a lively season of visiting productions.

Jack and the Beanstalk is the seasonal offering

Artistic director Paul Robinson said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be presenting live theatre again throughout the second half of 2021. We’ve pulled together a programme which we think will have a really broad appeal, and we can’t wait to welcome audiences back through our doors again.”

Executive director Caroline Routh says: “We’d very much like to thank the government’s Culture Recovery Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation’s Weston Culture Fund, whose support this year has made it possible for us put this programme together, and which includes funding to support the potential for future online digital streaming.

“We are also hugely grateful to our revenue funders – Arts Council England and Scarborough Borough Council – and to the many other trusts, foundations, sponsors and individuals without whose support over this past year we would, quite simply, not have been able to survive."

The Stephen Joseph Theatre’s shows for 2021 are:

Nick Lane will adapt Jack and the Beanstalk for the theatre

The Girl Next Door - June 4 to July 3 - world premiere: written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn.

The 85th play from the theatre's director emeritus is a touching, tender and, of course, funny reflection on the ability of love to rise above adversity and reach across the years.

Home I’m Darling - July 9 to August 14 - by Laura Wade, directed by Liz Stevenson.

A comedy about marriage and one woman’s quest to be the perfect 1950s housewife, Home I’m Darling was a huge hit in 2018 for original co-producers Theatr Clwyd and the National Theatre. This is a Stephen Joseph co-production with Theatre by the Lake and the Octagon Theatre Bolton.

The Offing- October 14 to 30 - world premiere: adapted by Janice Okoh from the novel by Benjamin Myers, directed by Paul Robinson.

Set in one of the UK’s favourite coastal towns, Robin Hood’s Bay – 16 miles up the coast from Scarborough – Benjamin Myers’s much-loved coming-of-age novel, a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick, has been sensitively adapted by Janice Okoh. This is a Stephen Joseph co-production with Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Jack and the Beanstalk - December 2 to 31 - world premiere: a new version by Nick Lane, directed by Paul Robinson, with music and lyrics by Simon Slater.

Expect the usual mayhem and musical madness as the team that brought you our last five Christmas shows, including Alice in Wonderland and The Snow Queen, reunites with a fresh new take on an old, old story.

The productions will be supported by a busy programme of visiting shows, including Blackeyed Theatre’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel by Nick Lane - Thursday September 30 to Saturday October 2

The theatre will also be presenting films in its McCarthy cinema.

The theatre will be complying carefully with current government guidelines around Covid safety. Last year, it gained 99 per cent positive feedback from customers on safety when it re-opened between lockdowns.

Booking for all the shows will open at 10am on Friday April 16 - with priority booking for Circle members opening on Friday April 9.

Tickets for all shows are priced from £10.

Where possible, the theatre is recommending that customers book online at box office phone line is open from Mondays to Saturdays, from noon till 2pm.

The box office will re-open for in-person bookings on Monday May 17 - noon to 5pm on non-show days; noon to 7.30pm on days with an evening show; 11am to 7.30pm on matinee days.