Simon Murgatroyd - Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist & Professional Writer
Alan Ayckbourn and his plays have long been an inspiration for me. Long before he appointed me his Archivist in 2005, I was passionate about his writing which was one of my formative introductions to the excitement and potential of theatre.
As Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist, I have the privilege of working for and with the playwright curating the Ayckbourn Archive as well as researching and handling research enquiries about the playwright and his work. I'm passionate about this job and the remarkable opportunity it has given me to dedicate my life's work to studying - and sharing these studies - the playwright and his plays.
Raised in Scarborough, my first memories of attending a play are at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round which has had an extraordinary impact on my life. My professional career has either directly or indirectly been associated with the venue since 1992. I have been writing professionally about Alan and theatre since I left university, first as a journalist for the Scarborough Evening News, then as Archivist for both Alan and his home theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre. The bulk of my writing can be found within the 3,500 pages of Alan Ayckbourn's Official Website, which I created, curate and write.
My first book, Unseen Ayckbourn, was named one of the Stage's 'Best theatre books' in 2013 and I've had the honour to write about Alan's work for publications around the world from London to New York to his adopted home of Scarborough and beyond.
I am also considered an expert on Alan Ayckbourn's home theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough - for which I am also the Honorary Archivist - particularly with regard to its first five decades during which Alan was most active with the company.
My work has brought me into contact with researchers, students, advocates and organisations across the world and I'm delighted to have had the opportunity to work with organisations such as the BBC, the National Theatre and Old Vic in their own forays into Ayckbourn.
Alan Ayckbourn once joked I know more about him than himself - whilst I sincerely doubt that, to be able to dedicate myself to working with him as his Archivist is the greatest job I could either imagine or want.
If you would like to contact me, please visit the Contact Me page.