Stephen Joseph: Obituaries

The Stage
12 October 1967

Pioneer Of Theatre In The Round
Stephen Joseph, who died on October 5 after along illness at the age of forty-six, was a pioneer of Theatre-in-the-Round who used his ideas to gain remarkable practical results and in this and other ways made an important contribution to the theatre of our time.

He was dedicated to theatre experiment, but imaginative qualities and sensibility as an artist were added to this. Though he was never to see theatre-in-the-round accepted as widely us he hoped, at least he saw many of his theories and demonstrations accepted as valuable to modem theatre development, and to know that others, in all kinds of situations of theatre, realised the need to forge closer links between stage and audience, a realisation brought about to a considerable extent by his own work.

Stephen Joseph, the son of Michael Joseph, the publisher, and Hermione GingoId, trained at the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, and for a time was on the staff. He went to Lowestoft as director in 1948, but it was in 1955 that his pioneer work began, with the formation of Studio Theatre, which remains a force at the Library Theatre, Scarborough. A theatre-in-the-round season at Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1959 led to the founding of the Victoria, Stoke-on-Trent. In |962 Mr. Joseph joined the staff of the Department of Drama at Manchester University.

He was always interested in the work of new writers, and among playwrights who owe something to his help are David Campton, James Saunders, Peter Terson and Alan Ayckbourn. He wrote two books,
The Story of the Playhouse in England and Theatre in the Round.

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