Stephen Joseph Theatre closes for two months: refurbishment includes new foyer and box office

The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Scarborough’s world-famous Stephen Joseph Theatre is closing for two months at the beginning of next year while work takes place on various improvements.

These include a refurbishment of its foyer space, and a new lighting system in the Round auditorium.

During the closure, the box office will temporarily relocate to the theatre’s OutReach offices in Northway.

The project will see developments to the front of house areas, including a refreshed and lighter foyer space with new windows looking on to Westborough and a refurbished box office area.

The Round, meanwhile, will benefit from a new, environmentally-friendly LED lighting system which will lower the venue’s energy bills.

The box office will be open to take bookings for the spring and summer seasons throughout the theatre’s closure, but will temporarily relocate to the theatre’s OutReach offices in Northway.

The work is part of the theatre’s £561,000 ‘Transform’ project, funded by a one-off capital grant of £419,222 from Arts Council England, and by donations from the public.

The theatre chief executive Stephen Freeman said: “The Transform project will enhance our customer experience enormously. The Stephen Joseph Theatre has been in its current venue for 21 years now, and we’re very aware that it needs some refurbishment. We want to provide a 21st century theatre-going experience for audiences both new and existing. Our ongoing vision will be to complement the unique period features of this building whilst looking to the future.

“We’ll be reopening in the spring with a fresh new look ready for a short season of high-quality visiting productions in March and April, followed soon afterwards by our exciting summer season.”

The theatre will close its doors on Sunday January 7 following an afternoon concert from the Hammonds Saltaire Band, and will re-open to the public on Monday March 12.

Booking is already open for the spring season of shows, which includes veteran R&B band The Manfreds (March 18 ); Chip Shop Chips, from Box of Tricks theatre company, an immersive theatre experience which will take place in Scarborough’s Market Hall (March 6 and 7); Napoleon Disrobed, a ‘comic alternative history’ from Told by an Idiot theatre company, the Theatre Royal Plymouth and Arcola Theatre (March 20 to 24); sharp satire Winter Solstice, from the Actors Touring Company and the Orange Tree Theatre (March 28 to 31); John Godber’s latest, Scary Bikers (John Godber Co and Theatre Royal Wakefield, April 3 to 7); and a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times from Northern Broadsides (April 17 to 21).

From Monday January 8 to Saturday March 10, the temporary box office will be open from 10am to 6pm, Mondays to Saturdays. Bookings can also be made online at www.sjt.uk.com and by phone on 01723 370541.