Researching Stephen Joseph: The Stephen Joseph Theatre

Whilst the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, has a significant archive pertaining to its entire history, it is not particularly strong in relation to the theatre's foundation and time under Stephen Joseph between 1955 and 1965. Much of the material from the period 1955 to 1972 was tragically lost when one of the theatre's staff apparently deliberately disposed of the existing archive during the 1980s to create more office space.

The strength of The Bob Watson Archive at the Stephen Joseph Theatre relates more to the plays produced at the Library Theatre. Manuscripts for more than two thirds of the new plays produced and commissioned at the Library Theatre between 1955 and 1976 are held in archive alongside surviving reviews, press cuttings and production images of these plays.

There is a significant amount of press cuttings relating to the first year of the Library Theatre, but no surviving correspondence relating to the venue. Some information about Stephen Joseph is held - including a variety of portraits from throughout his life and some of the articles he wrote - but it is not a significant collection of material compared to the University of Manchester.

Note: Public access to The Bob Watson Archive is extremely limited due to the size of the archive, limited resources and not having a full-time Archivist. The Archive has no facility for drop-in visits and no on-site facilities for researchers. The majority of requests are dealt with by email and generally do not require physical access to the collection itself.

Useful Links

The Stephen Joseph Theatre website