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 am proud to 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-orientated articles.
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 & Entertainment's 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 within the newspaper.
Having left the Evening News in 1999 to study for an MA in Theatre and Contemporary Practise (culminating in a 45,000 word dissertation on Fantasy In The Plays Of Alan Ayckbourn), I began - and continue - to write articles about Alan Ayckbourn and his plays for professional publication.
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. During 2017, I 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 been published in several different editions.
Unseen Ayckbourn explores the withdrawn, unpublished and lost Ayckbourn plays. It was featured in The Stage newspaper in November 2013 and the publication also listed it amongst its best Theatre books of 2013.
I previously wrote A Round 50for the Stephen Joseph Theatre's 50th anniversary celebrations in 2005. This was a glossy, A4 64 page publication celebrating the history of Alan Ayckbourn's home theatre. In 2009, I wrote and compiled the Ayckbourn At 70publication to mark Northampton's Royal & Derngate Theatre's Ayckbourn 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.
If you have any enquiries relating to Simon's writing as well as commissioning or reproducing articles, please visit the Contact Me page.
The Stephen Joseph Theatre
As well as writing articles for programmes for the Stephen Joseph Theatre since 2006, I'm also a copywriter and consultant for the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
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 continue to regularly contribute to the monthly SJT Circular newsletter.
Since 2014, I have also been providing 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.
My work as a consultant / copywriter supplies written material and advice to the SJT's Press & Marketing Department and the Development Department as well as providing articles for programmes, publications and the theatre's website.
If you have any enquiries about my writing, commissions or reproducing articles, please contact me here.