Stephen Joseph

Observations on the work and influence of Stephen Joseph from Stephen Joseph Theatre’s archivist, Simon Murgatroyd:

‘Stephen Joseph is arguably one of the least recognised pioneers of British alternative theatre whose work continues to feed into venues, companies and practitioners to this day.

…this is the man who was forthright in championing new theatre forms during the ‘50s and ‘60s when the concept of anything but the proscenium arch was virtually alien to British theatre. He introduced both the first professional theatre-in-the-round company and venue to the UK, as well as championing other theatre-forms. He was instrumental in the formation of both the Association of British Theatre Technicians and the Society Of Theatre Consultants. His impact on those he worked with is undeniable and whilst he is probably most frequently referred to as Alan Ayckbourn’s mentor, he has been cited as a major influence by people as diverse as Harold Pinter, David Campton, Ben Kingsley, Peter Cheeseman and Trevor Griffiths. Many of those he worked with have said how much he inspired them and how much of what they learnt from him was incorporated both into their own work and companies as well as being passed on to the next generation of theatre practitioners. Yet this contribution has largely been ignored and his work and influence which whilst gradually being acknowledged is still virtually unknown.’

September 2014