Talks & Lectures

Since 2001, I have been giving talks and lectures regarding a variety of subjects concentrated on Alan Ayckbourn and his plays but also including his mentor Stephen Joseph and the history of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.

I have a particular speciality in the formative years of Alan Ayckbourn's theatre career and the Library Theatre, Scarborough, where he began writing and directing. I am considered a world expert on Alan Ayckbourn's earliest writing, most of which has never been published and only rarely produced.

Examples Of Talks

This is a brief guide to some of the talks and lectures I have given over the years and the variety of events.
  • 2017: Stephen Joseph - a public talk with Dr Paul Elsam about Stephen Joseph, marking the 50th anniversary of his death, his achievements and his legacy; Unseen Seen - a talk launching the Illustrated Edition of his book Unseen Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre; The Stephen Joseph Exhibition - a guided tour of the Stephen Joseph exhibition to be held at the SJT co-curated by Simon - marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Stephen Joseph..
  • 2016: Meet The Archivist - an exclusive event at the Stephen Joseph Theatre to mark the relaunch of The Bob Watson Archive at the venue; Circle Cafe - a conversation about my work as an archivist for the Friends of the Stephen Joseph Theatre; A Meeting Of Minds - a talk about Alan Ayckbourn's Invisible Friends and Woman In Mind at Huddersfield's Lawrence Batley Theatre; Abridged Ayckbourn - a talk about Alan Ayckbourn's history with the Stephen Joseph Theatre from 1957 to the present day.
  • 2015: The Stephen Joseph Theatre At 60 - Various talks about the anniversary of the founding of the company in 1955.
  • 2013: Stephen Joseph Theatre Production Syndicate - An exclusive day of talks moving between the three homes of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough (the Library Theatre, Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round and the Stephen Joseph Theatre) exploring the history of Alan Ayckbourn's career in Scarborough and his connection with the three venues.
  • 2011 - 2012: The Early & Lost Ayckbourn Plays - A series of talks for the Ayckbourn Weekend events focusing on Alan Ayckbourn's earliest plays and lost writing with exclusive permission to present extracts from the plays (performed by Dick & Lottie, the Huddersfield based amateur company dedicated to Alan Ayckbourn's plays) taking place at both the Stephen Joseph Theatre and in Alan Ayckbourn's private rehearsal rooms.
  • 2006 - present day: Archiving Alan Ayckbourn - Talks presented to both academic and public groups discussing my work as Alan Ayckbourn's archivist and the Alan Ayckbourn Archive.
  • 2001 - 2005: Ayckbourn And The Round - A variety of talks discussing Alan Ayckbourn's relationship with the Stephen Joseph Theatre as well as his commitment to theatre-in-the-round and the influence of Stephen Joseph on his career.
  • 2001 - present day: History of Alan Ayckbourn / The Stephen Joseph Theatre - Various talks (approx. 90 mins) looking at Alan Ayckbourn's life and career - or specific periods - of Alan Ayckbourn and / or the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.
  • 2001 - Present day: The Plays - Talks ranging from 20 to 90 minutes on specific plays by Alan Ayckbourn or themes in his plays, presented at a variety of venues for various organisations.

Requesting Talks & Lectures

Simon is able to offer talks and lectures - subject to fee and travel expenses - about a wide range of subjects pertaining to Alan Ayckbourn, his plays and his career in theatre. He can also tailor talks to specific plays or areas of discussion relating to the playwright.

He has a particular speciality in discussing Alan Ayckbourn's early career including his early writing as well as his connection with the Library Theatre, Scarborough (later the Stephen Joseph Theatre, for which he was the Artistic Director between 1972 and 2009).

If you are interested in discussing the possibility of a talk / lecture or have any enquiries regarding this, Simon's work as Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist or Ayckbourn related events, please visit the
Contact page.