We are living through an incredible time and many of our activities have had to be put on hold as we wait and see how quickly this viral epidemic loses its hold on us all. What is very clear is that life as we know it will never be the same again and as the theatre and its practitioners have done for centuries, we adapt, we move with the wind of change and become incredibly resilient and increasingly creative.

So rather than sit back and wait, the SJA committee and our members have the opportunity to use this online platform to share thoughts, ideas and contribute to creating an online community of like minds by adding material and insight. We will particularly welcome material that relates to Stephen Joseph and the major part he played in taking the theatre out of the picture frame stage, encouraging new writing and giving opportunities to young people to explore a new and dynamic vocabulary inn the form of theatre that we know as ‘theatre -in -the- round.’

GO TO to Christine Stott’s report on the AGM and Seminar as well as photographs of some of the participants

GO to to find out more about speakers at the AGM and Seminar 20019



The Stephen Joseph Association is pleased to announce the speakers for the forthcoming Seminar at the Playground Theatre, London.

FAYNIA WILLIAMS is a multi- award winning international director/designer and a BBC Producer of drama and documentaries with programmes on Joan Littlewood, Pina Bausch, the Moscow Art Theatre & Stephen Joseph’s Theatre in the Round. Faynia began her career acting opposite Alan Ayckbourn in his first play directed by Stephen Joseph. She was also Lulu when Stephen invited Pinter to direct the regional premiere of The Birthday Party, following its critical panning in the West End. This production was key to establishing Pinter’s reputation as a major playwright. She has worked as Assistant Director to Tadeusz Kantor, also with Jozef Beuys and with Roger Graef in Russia for Channel 4 TV. She has been Artistic Director of four theatres including the Tron, Glasgow, and Fellow in Theatre & Artist in Residence at Universities in the US and UK. Currently, she is Artistic Director of Brighton Theatre, and teaches British Theatre and British Film at the University of Sussex.

RICHARD CRANE was Resident Dramatist at the National Theatre and Literary Manager at the Royal Court. Winner of nine Edinburgh Fringe First Awards, his plays and musicals include Mutiny! with David Essex (Piccadilly Theatre), The Possessed for Yuri Lyubimov (Odeon Paris, Almeida London) Brothers Karamazov with Alan Rickman (Edinburgh Festival and Fortune Theatre), Venus and Superkid (Arts Theatre and Roundhouse), The Quiz (Trafalgar Studios) and Vlad the Impaler (BBC Radio with John Hurt, Oran Mor Glasgow and Brighton Festival). With Faynia Williams, he founded Brighton Theatre, garnering awards and touring festivals worldwide. Most recently, he wrote and performed Mozzz! a week in the life of an undercover mosquito for Brighton and Edinburgh Festivals 2017 and 2018, and Venice Biennale 2019. Other acting credits include, Nottingham Playhouse, National Theatre, Traverse, Royal Court, Adelaide, Moscow, New York, films and tv. His plays are published by Heinemann, Samuel French and Oberon Books.

IAIN MACKINTOSH is best known as a theatre producer and theatre design consultant. He aco-founded the Prospect Theatre company in 1961 and in the next twelve years took 75 productions to 125 theatres in 21 countries. August 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the opening of ‘Edward II’ and ‘Richard II’ at the Edinburgh International Festival, with both kings played by Ian McKellen. In 1973 he changed professions and became a theatre design consultant with Theatre Projects. In 1991 he designed the Orange Tree in Richmond and although this is the only theatre-in-the-round he has done, he is proud to put it alongside others he conceived including the Cottesloe in 1977,  the Martha Cohen, Calgary in 1985,  Glyndebourne in 1994 and Hall Two at The Sage Gateshead in 2004. In addition he has  curated exhibitions of theatre painting and theatre architecture at the Hayward and at the Royal Academy. He was awarded an ABTT Fellowship in 2008. Sadly he never met Stephen Joseph but constantly refers to his excellent books. Iain is currently writing a history and memoir “Theatre Spaces New and Old 1920 -2020: Putting the Fun back into Functionalism”

DAVID ROGER  has worked as production designer on a vast range of TV, theatre and commercials. He has won numerous awards including three RTS, a prime time Emmy, and BAFTA’s for the BBC’s “ Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” and “Great Expectations”. He studied languages and twentieth century theatre in Bristol and Berlin and completed his training in stage design in Paris and with Percy Harris at the Motley school in London. He has designed numerous plays and musicals at theatres ranging from the Traverse in Edinburgh to the Gate, Royal Court and Piccadilly theatres in London, where he has collaborated on many productions of new writing from British and European dramatists. He has designed for ballet and opera including the world premiere of Twyla Tharp’s “ Mr Wordly Wise “ for The Royal Ballet and large scale productions in-the-round of Aida, Madam Butterfly and Carmen at The Albert Hall.

VICKY BLADES  is an actress producing female focused theatre with the She-Wolf  Theatre Collective in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Vicky is used to working in the round and immersive productions. Recent credits include Gordon Osram’s Funeral, The Vagina Monologues, Cinemagic’s A Christmas Story and she recently played the female lead in The Bloom Mystery for the Light Theatre company and Bananas! (Eastside Arts Festival). She trained at East 15 Acting School and graduated with an MA in Acting in 2004.Vicky has been General Secretary of the Northern Ireland Branch of Equity since 2014 and regularly attends meetings and events to promote theatre and the arts in Northern Ireland.  Earlier this year she was invited by Theatre NI to speak at the All Island Performing Arts Conference in Wexford. Vicky is on the Subject Advisory Panel for Drama and Performing Arts with the Council for Curriculum, Education and Assessment (CCEA) and for the past two years has been their Principal Moderator. Currently she is the Course Co-ordinator for the Rose Bruford College Acting Foundation Course in Belfast. She has her own company, Generally Speaking, providing voice and confidence coaching. 





Bookings at Playground – Use direct link:


Morning and afternoon refreshments and a buffet lunch 

provided by the Playground Cafe and Bar.

Pre-theatre supper can be booked with the Playground Cafe.

Nearest Tube – Latimer Road – Directions – Use Link:

How to Get to The Playground Theatre

If you have not already joined the SJA now would be a very good time to consider doing so and help us shape projects for the centenary of Stephen’s birth in 2021:



SJA Plan to join ABTT

The Stephen Joseph Association is pleased to announce that the plan to be constituted as a committee of the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT) is now all but finalised:

Stephen Joseph was a founder member of the Association of British Theatre Technicians in 1961. It is therefore fitting that the SJA, after investigating the mutual benefits, in consultation with its membership and the ABTT Executive, submitted a proposal to become a Committee under the auspices of the ABTT in May. A final proposal supported by 80% of the SJA membership was approved by the ABTT Council in June, and it only remains for the SJA to formalise the agreement at the AGM on 20th September.

Full details of the AGM and accompanying seminar will be published soon, but please register your interest in attending. If you have not already joined the SJA now would be a very good time to consider doing so and help us shape projects for the centenary of Stephen’s birth in 2021:





We were delighted to be able to hold a Public Forum and our first AGM at the V&A, on Friday 16th November 2018, with the support of The Theatre and Performance Department. 

Following our recent committee meeting we are pleased to report that we are now able to move forward with a number of initiatives that have been under discussion for some time.

The first of which is an agreement in principle with Bob Millington to publish the talks that were delivered at the Manchester Symposium in November 2017 as an SJA imprint. The agreement is to distribute copies to members of the SJA as part of this year’s membership package. Bob is to be congratulated on all the hard work that he has put into transcribing the talks and collating them for publication. It has been a labour of love for him and very time consuming. He and Tony Jackson together with Athene Conroy have agreed to oversee the publication on behalf of the SJA.

As previously indicated there have already been several meetings to date with the Director and Curators of the The Theatre and Performance Department at the V&A and we are working towards the SJA’s involvement in the 2021 Theatre and Performance Festival.

Peter Ellis Jones and Tony Jackson met Gavin Henderson, the Principal of the The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama late last year, to discuss partipation in the Centerary year and Tony Jackson has been able to report that Manchester Universitty is also moving forward with plans to honour Stephen Joseph.

We are urgently in need of a Treasurer or someone that has some experience of bookkeeping and finance as Alistair Livingstone, who unwillingly undertook this role at the outset, wishes to free up time to undertake other projects.

If anyone has any ideas for events or projects in the next 2 years please do get in contact with us and if you have not already done so. please join us and help shape the 2021 celebrations.

Go to SJA Membership Page to join