Simon Murgatroyd

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist & Professional Writer


Although I'm predominantly known for my work as Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist, I have been a professional writer since graduating from university in 1992 and have been published throughout the UK, in Europe, North America and Australia.

Whilst the vast majority of my writing tends to be concentrated on Alan Ayckbourn, I have written numerous articles relating to the Stephen Joseph Theatre and theatre history.

I began writing professionally as a journalist at the Scarborough Evening News in 1992. During my seven years with the publication, I was the Arts & Entertainments writer and the lead theatre critic, reviewing the world premieres of a number of Alan Ayckbourn's plays notably including
By Jeeves and House & Garden. I was also responsible for launching a weekly entertainments supplement.

Having left the Evening News in 1999 to study for an MA in Theatre and Contemporary Practise, I began writing articles about Alan Ayckbourn and his plays for professional publication.

A wide selection of my articles can be viewed on
Alan Ayckbourn - The Archivist's Blog.

World Premieres & The West End

I have written articles for the programmes for the majority of Alan Ayckbourn's world premiere productions since 2006 as well as for the majority of the playwright's own revivals since then.

For the West End, I have written both original articles as well as had articles reproduced for productions at the National Theatre, the Old Vic and within the commercial West End. I also provided material for Alan Ayckbourn's debut at the Edinburgh International Festival with
The Divide and for its subsequent transfer to London.

I've also frequently written Ayckbourn-related articles for John Good Ltd for theatre programmes around the UK - including West End productions such as Trevor Nunn's West 2012 revival of
A Chorus Of Disapproval and the 2016 revival of How The Other Half Loves - as well as contributing articles for regional theatres. If you see an Ayckbourn production and the programme contains an Ayckbourn Timeline, that's my most frequently republished article!


One of my proudest achievements is my book Unseen Ayckbourn, which has had several editions.

Unseen Ayckbourn explores the withdrawn, unpublished and lost Ayckbourn plays. A previous edition was listed amongst The Stage's best Theatre books of 2013.

I previously wrote
A Round 50 for the Stephen Joseph Theatre's 50th anniversary celebrations in 2005 and during 2009, I wrote and compiled the Ayckbourn At 70 publication to mark Northampton's Royal & Derngate Theatre's Ayckbourn celebration season.

In recent years, I've collaborated with the noted Ayckbourn expert Albert-Reiner Glaap and contributed to three of his publications,
Towards Ayckbournia in Germany (2019), Confusions To Roundelay: Stages In Ayckbourn's Creative Work (2015) and New Landmarks In Ayckbourn Country (2014) - all published by Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier.

The Stephen Joseph Theatre (2006 - 2022)

Between 2006 and 2022, I contributed the majority of articles for the programmes for Alan Ayckbourn's productions at the Stephen Joseph Theatre as well as being employed as a copywriter and consultant.

Between 2011 and 2013, I was the co-editor and principal contributor to the quarterly
Stephen Joseph Theatre Circular for supporters of the Stephen Joseph Theatre and helped successfully launch the publication. I continued to regularly contribute to the monthly SJT Circular newsletter until 2022.

Between 2014 and 2022 I also provided syndicated interviews with Alan Ayckbourn for the Stephen Joseph Theatre, which have been published in newspapers and print media around the country, tying in with the current productions of Alan Ayckbourn's plays.

We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to ensure the best experience on this website.