A Round Town: Talks & Events

This website is part of a project to highlight theatre in the round's contribution to Scarborough's cultural heritage & history.

To that end, Simon Murgatroyd - theatre historian and Alan Ayckbourn's archivist - gives regular talks in the Scarborough community about many different aspects of theatre in the round, its history in Scarborough and significant figures such as Alan Ayckbourn and Stephen Joseph. From the people to the companies, historical events to places and buildings, Simon is delving into theatre in the round and its place in the town.

Simon also hopes to forge links with organisations around the town in order to emphasise the rich cultural contribution that theatre in the round made to Scarborough in its formative decades. To contact Simon about talks, visit his website

The Ayckbourn Collection at Scarborough Art Gallery

Items drawn from The Ayckbourn Collection relating to Alan Ayckbourn, his mentor Stephen Joseph and the early history of theatre in the round in Scarborough are currently on display at Scarborough Art Gallery.

The Ayckbourn Collection display consists of approximately 30 pieces relating to Alan Ayckbourn, his mentor Stephen Joseph and the formative years of theatre in the round in Scarborough.

The Ayckbourn Collection was donated to Scarborough Museums and Galleries by Sir Alan and Lady Ayckbourn and their archivist, Simon Murgatroyd, earlier this year with the support of The Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York.

The Ayckbourn Collection is now on at Scarborough Art Gallery, which is open from 10am to 5pm every day except Monday (plus Bank Holidays). Entrance is free with a £3 annual pass, which also allows unlimited free entry to the Rotunda Museum.

Upcoming Talks

Simon will be resuming his talks in 2024 at various Scarborough venues. Here's sneak peek at some of the talks ahead…

90 Into 65: Celebrating Alan Ayckbourn's 65 Years of Playwriting and 90 Plays
Conquered: Celebrating 50 years Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests
Ghost Stories: The Journey of The Woman in Black From Page To Stage
House & Garden at 25: Alan Ayckbourn's Duology Celebrates Its Quarter Century
Confused & Absent: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Alan Ayckbourn's classic plays Confusions and Absent Friends
Artistically Directed: Continuing the Story of Alan Ayckbourn's Careers at Theatre in the Round in Scarborough

Further details, dates and locations to be announced soon…

Videos / Other Projects

Ayckbourn's Gardens: A Talk with Simon Murgatroyd M.A.
A recording of Simon Murgatroyd's talk
Ayckbourn's Gardens which took place in the Italian Gardens on Scarborough's South Cliff during July 2023. Simon talks about how and why Alan Ayckbourn uses gardens within his plays.
Link: The Ayckbourn YouTube Channel
Alan Ayckbourn - From Actor to Artistic Director: A Talk with Simon Murgatroyd M.A.
A recording of Simon Murgatroyd's talk
Alan Ayckbourn: From Actor to Artistic Director recorded at Filey Library in 2023 looking at the playwright's rise in the Theatre at the Round at the Library Theatre company from 1957 to 1972.
The Ayckbourn YouTube Channel

Walking Tours

Simon is available to do walk-in g tours of Scarborough relating to the history and development of theatre in the round in the town. To find out more, visit the Walks & Talks page here.

Contacting Simon

To contact Simon about any of the events on this page or anything connected to A Round Town, please email him via the Contacts Page.