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Paul Robinson announces first season at Stephen Joseph Theatre

Artistic director Paul Robinson - Photo: Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media
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Stephen Joseph Theatre artistic director Paul Robinson has announced his first summer season at the venue, which features plays from Alan Ayckbourn, Jim Cartwright and Amelia Bullmore.

Ayckbourn, who was formerly artistic director of the Scarborough theatre, will direct the world premiere of his new play A Brief History of Women at the venue from September 1 to October 7.

There will also be a revival of Ayckbourn’s 1979 farce Taking Steps and a revival of Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

The season also includes the regional premiere of Di and Viv and Rose by Bullmore, whose acting credits include Coronation Street and Happy Valley.

Royal Court Young Writers’ Programme alumnus Ali Taylor will have his new play Goth Weekend premier at the venue.

Robinson, who was previously joint artistic director of Theatre503, said: “Stephen Joseph, the theatre’s founder, believed that theatre required three things – new plays, new forms, and an engaged community.

“I’m interested in work which asks big questions, exploring social and political change, and forms which move us beyond these four walls.

“Moving forward, we will make a programme of work which is of the highest quality and which appeals to the widest and most diverse audience, one which future-proofs the theatre.”

He added: “At the heart of our 2017 summer season is the endeavour to celebrate the stories of ordinary people.

“All of this work – and our new artistic policy – reflects our belief here at the SJT that every person, regardless of their background, can fulfil their potential if only given the opportunity.”

Stephen Freeman joined the theatre as new chief executive in summer 2016 alongside Robinson.

Freeman said: “We intend this theatre to be a place where artists and creatives can come together to experiment and try out new ideas in the company of audiences.

“SJT will build links with other theatres across the UK, to ensure that the work produced here has every opportunity to flourish.”


The season at a glance:

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright

Directed by Paul Robinson

June 15 to August 19


Taking Steps by Alan Ayckbourn

Directed by Alan Ayckbourn

July 13 to October 5


Di and Viv and Rose by Amelia Bullmore

Directed Lotte Wakeham

August 3 to August 26


A Brief History of Women by Alan Ayckbourn

September 1 to October 7

Directed by Alan Ayckbourn


Goth Weekend by Ali Taylor

Directed by Paul Robinson

September 14 to October 7

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