Autumn preview – Stephen Joseph Theatre

Poles Apart

Scarborough’s renowned Stephen Joseph Theatre has programmed an autumn packed with fresh and original drama, comedy, dance, music and a box of festive delights.

A variety of visiting companies and productions from across the country visit the venue from October through to January following Alan Ayckbourn’s new play, Hero’s Welcome and the gala reading of the writer’s new work, The Divide.

Hansel and Gretel

Highlights include the latest from Northern Broadsides, John Godber and West Yorkshire Playhouse as well as the Stephen Joseph Theatre’s staging of its Sixty by Sixty audio play project and its festive production, Hansel and Gretel.

Grimm’s famous tale, Hansel and Gretel, is brought to life in a magical retelling, adapted by Mike Kenny, writer of the award-winning stage adaptation The Railway Children, is staged with an a-capella soundtrack and runs from December 10.

Northern Broadsides returns, in partnership with Harrogate Theatre, with Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale while West Yorkshire Playhouse, on its debut tour, arrives in October with Beryl.

Maxine’s Peake’s witty, charming and critically acclaimed play celebrates the life of an unsung sporting hero.

The play looks back at the extraordinary sporting achievements of the Leeds-born cyclist Beryl Burton who cycled her way into the record books becoming the greatest woman on two wheels.


For its 60th anniversary year, the SJT has recorded Sixty by Sixty, 60 sixty-second audio plays written by 20 established, 20 emerging and 20 community writers to celebrate the company’s history of new writing.

The plays will be available to listen to on the website in the autumn, and there is also the chance to see all 60 plays in an exclusive performance directed by artistic director Chris Monks on October 31.

The John Godber Company and Theatre Royal Wakefield present Godber’s scorching new comedy Poles Apart in November.

Godber examines the role of the theatre in the life of the working man in an uncompromising, unflinching and deliriously funny play looking at culture clashes up-close and personal from the top of a scaff tower.


From Paines Plough and Pentabus Theatre comes the hilarious, moving and beautifully directed Every Brilliant Thing, a new play with Jonny Donahoe based on true and untrue stories about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love.

Alongside Hansel and Gretel, and to get into the festive spirit, Clive Francis repeats his acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in his one-man adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Dyad Productions resurrects a Victorian tradition by presenting three seasonal tales of terror to scintillate the goose-flesh in Christmas Gothic.