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“A little taste of the past”

Stephen Joseph Theatre
Ranked #7 of 79 things to do in Scarborough
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The home of truly great theatre. Let us transport you to new worlds and enjoy new experiences through the magic of theatre – no trip to Scarborough would be complete without it! We offer a unique, intimate experience in our renowned theatre-in-the-round as well as the more traditional end-on McCarthy theatre and cinema. The SJT has been and is known for its commitment to new writing throughout its 61 years not to mention Alan Ayckbourn’s 80 World Premieres. It is home to excellent drama, music, films, comedy and live streaming and has been the starting point for many, now familiar names. Access: The SJT provides regular captioned and audio described performances and has infrared and induction loop systems. There is level access to the Box Office and disabled toilets, a wheelchair lift to the Shop and a passenger lift giving access to all floors. There are designated wheelchair spaces in both theatres, which are easily accessible from the lift. Please notify the Box Office at the time of booking if you require wheelchair access. Access to some seats in The Round and The McCarthy is via steps, please advise staff when booking if you have any specific seating requirements.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Stairs / lift, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access
Crewe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A little taste of the past”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

Went to watch a movie in the cinema here, which is a throw back to the 50's/60's. Very quaint but reminds me how uncomfortable old fashioned cinema seats used to be!

Visited July 2014
Thank bazellis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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495 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
152 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Lovely theatre and great concert”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

We went to a chamber music concert by Cropper Welsh Roscoe Trio. Brilliant musicians in intimate In the Round comfortable space. Very good acoustics. Had good value ice creams in the interval

Visited July 2014
1 Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scarborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“More than just 'the Ayckbourn Theatre'”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2014

To non-residents, SJT is "the Ayckbourn Theatre" where the town's resident playwright was artistic director for many years and remains the dominating presence, with a faithful audience of visitors for his work, which has put Scarborough firmly on the national theatre map. Enjoying a prime town-centre location, in a handsomely purpose-converted former art déco Odeon cinema, SJT offers plays and a range of visiting shows (comedy, jazz, classical music, singers, occasionally dance) in its main in-the-round auditorium, and the town's principal cinema in its smaller McCarthy Studio upstairs, where live-broadcast events like opera and ballet from Royal Opera House Covent Garden are always packed. SJT collaborates and co-produces plays with other regional venues, offers welcome frequent visiting productions by Northern Broadsides and Hull Truck, alongside in-house productions by current artistic director Chris Monks - highlights including a series of quality classics (Shakespeare, Coward, Wilde, Pinero etc) and new plays, wittily re-imagined G & S productions, and a recent sell-out 'Last Train To Scarborough'. There's an active outreach and education programme, with young people's Rounders theatre group, adult Funkey Choir etc and an annual February youth & outreach season. For Scarborough residents, it's probably the films and the often excellent range of one-off visiting shows that bring us in. Disappointingly, given its excellent location and potential public spaces, SJT is a catering non-event. An expensive little upstairs restaurant has closed; the bar is open only as a theatre bar pre-show and intervals; there's no café or other catering outlet open for non-theatre-goers (a big strategic omission, one might have thought, in a town like ours), and half the available foyer space is wasted on an uninteresting, pricey little bookshop selling playscripts, cards etc. In short, no-one visits SJT unless they're seeing a show or film, which is a pity. But the SJT presents some terrific shows, is pleasant to visit, and is a valuable and longstanding feature of Scarborough's shrinking cultural provision. (The Council has just closed The Futurist, the town's last surviving professional proscenium-arch theatre capable of receiving middle- and large-scale theatre and variety shows.) Don't think of SJT only as 'the Ayckbourn Theatre', and check out the surprising and enjoyable range of films and visiting one-off shows, as well as some really good in-house productions.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Timster2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scarborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Live theatre”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

Theatre in the round, excellent. Movie theatre some excellent live beamed performances, to see the cream of London shows. Restaurant not open at present.

Visited July 2014
Thank wen65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
199 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“Last Train to Scarborough”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

In two acts, first we found a little confusing, "in the round" the use of the set and from our position was a little difficult but the second act after we had time to consider the first, we found extremely good. To tell you of the plot would probably spoil it for you but rest assured that we would go and see/experience it again!

Visited June 2014
Thank JohnPlant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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