Ayckbourn Collections: The University Of StaffordshireThe University Of Staffordshire holds the Victoria Theatre Collection, pertaining to the first purpose-built, professional in-the-round venue in the UK. It was founded by Stephen Joseph in 1962 following his founding of Studio Theatre Ltd at the Library Theatre, Scarborough, in 1955 (the UK's first professional in-the-round company).
Between 1962 and 1964, Alan Ayckbourn was an Associate Director and founding member of the Victoria Theatre and wrote, directed and acted at the Victoria Theatre alongside its long-standing Artistic Director Peter Cheeseman.
The Victoria Theatre Collection contains material pertaining to the creation of the Victoria Theatre as well as its complete history and its move to its current home The New Vic. It includes material pertaining to Stephen Joseph as well as the period in which Alan Ayckbourn worked at the venue.
It is also the single most important research resource pertaining to the theatre production, documentary research and community work carried out by Peter Cheeseman's internationally famous, Victoria Theatre Company between 1962 and 1998, which has been meticulously recorded, archived and preserved over four decades.