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Stephen Joseph Theatre

Westborough Scarborough YO11 1JW

Canny North Yorkshire folk know that if there's a new or revived Alan Ayckbourn work they don't have to head for the bright lights of a big city – the town's renowned Stephen Joseph Theatre is where the playwright has chosen to premiere most of his 75 plays. He was artistic director up until 2009 – the Stephen Joseph was the UK's first theatre-in-the-round company – and since 1996 the theatre has occupied the grand Art Deco premises of the former Odeon cinema opposite Scarborough train station. There's a 400-seat theatre showcasing plays by both new and established writers, and it's not just Alan Ayckbourn that sends his best work here, but other regional talents like John Godber. A separate cinema screen shows a weekly programme of art-house and film festival movies; there's also a restaurant for pre-theatre meals and all sorts of special events from book-readings and concerts to youth theatre productions and masterclasses.

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