Unproduced: The Plays Which Got Away (1955 - 2009)

It's fair to say that over the decades, the Stephen Joseph Theatre (and its predecessor venues) has looked at, worked with and commissioned hundreds of new plays. Whilst the company has an enviable record of producing new commissions since its foundation in 1955, there are some plays which fell at the very last hurdle and had a brief moment in the spotlight before being lost.

Within this website, the Plays section includes details of those few new plays which were advertised either in the theatre's brochures or were officially announced to the press and reported but were never actually produced.

As it stands, these plays are considered to be
Necessary Doubt by Colin Wilson (1963), an untitled children’s play by Alfred Bradley (1969), Up To The Eyes by Peter King (1975), Sight Unseen by Alan Ayckbourn (1980), Wonderland by Stephen Mallatratt (1987), State Of The Union by Peter Tinniswood (1989) and Private Fears In Public Places by Alan Ayckbourn (1994).

Given the plays were not produced - possibly not even written in several cases - what is the significance of this?

Future researchers looking at the history of the Stephen Joseph Theatre are very likely to come across these plays, particularly those advertised in the theatre's brochures and mentioned in the schedules. Out of context, it would be too easy to presume these plays were produced as intended and part of the aim of this website is to clarify issues such as this: what was actually produced and when they were produced as it is surprising how many times productions actually deviated from officially announced schedules over the years.

The listing of the plays performed between 1955 and 2009 on this website is the most accurate to have yet been produced and cross-references brochures, schedules, listings and contemporary press cuttings to provide as accurate a picture as possible of the production history of the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.

Unproduced Play Links

Click on a play title to find out more about advertised plays which were never produced.


Necessary Doubt
Colin Wilson, 1963

Untitled children's play
Alfred Bradley, 1969


Up To The Eyes
Peter King, 1975


Sight Unseen
Alan Ayckbourn, 1980

Stephen Mallatratt, 1987

State Of The Union
Peter Tinniswood, 1988


Private Fears In Public Places
Alan Ayckbourn, 1994
All research for the unproduced plays is by Simon Murgatroyd. Please do no reproduce without crediting Simon Murgatroyd this website.