Alan Ayckbourn's ArchivistSince 2007, Simon has been employed as Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist and been responsible for maintaining the Ayckbourn Archive, administering the playwright's official website, organising Ayckbourn related events and also been responsible for research enquiries submitted to the playwright regarding his career and plays. He is predominantly based in the playwright's offices in Scarborough but also works at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
As Archivist, Simon is responsible for maintaining and collating both the physical and digital Ayckbourn Archives. In 2011, the bulk of the physical Ayckbourn Archive was acquired for the nation by the Borthwick Institute at the University Of York; more than one tonne of printed material was transferred to the archive ranging in time from 1957, when the playwright first joined the Library Theatre in Scarborough, to 2006.
Although the bulk of the Ayckbourn Archive is now at the Borthwick Institute, Simon continues to maintain the post-2006 material in Scarborough which, at some point in the future, will also be passed to the University Of York to complete the Ayckbourn Archive.
He also maintains the digital Ayckbourn Archive which contains material scanned from the Ayckbourn Archive, the Bob Watson Archive at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and several private collections. This archive contains material dating back to 1939 to the present day and contains press cuttings, photographs, poster images, articles, recorded and printed interviews as well as multi-media elements. With over 50,000 items in the digital archive, it is the largest collection of material relating to Alan Ayckbourn outside of the Ayckbourn Archive at the Borthwick Institute.
Through this work as the playwright's Archivist, Simon is also responsible for dealing with research enquiries relating to Alan Ayckbourn and regularly fields questions pertaining to the playwright and his works from around the world, from primary school students to university researchers, from press enquiries to documentary research.
Since 2016, he has also been the patron of Dick & Lottie, the UK's only amateur company dedicated to the plays of Alan Ayckbourn.
Stephen Joseph Theatre ArchivistSimon is also the honorary Archivist for The Bob Watson Archive at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. This physical archive located in the theatre in Scarborough contains material relating to the theatre's history from 1955 to the present day as well as extensive material relating to Alan Ayckbourn's involvement with the company from 1957 to the present. He is responsible for maintaining the archive as well as dealing with enquiries relating to archival material relating to the resource.
During 2016, the archive was re-organised and re-launched with a permanent small exhibition space in order to raise public awareness of the archive. For 2017, Simon will be co-curating an exhibition for the Stephen Joseph Theatre marking the 50th anniversary of the death of Stephen Joseph in 1957, which will draw one material from both The Bob Watson Archive as well as other collections.
As a result of being both Alan Ayckbourn and the Stephen Joseph Theatre's Archivist, Simon has also had the opportunity to organise Ayckbourn events and to offer talks and lectures on the playwright and his works.
If you have any enquiries relating Simon's work as Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist, please visit the Contact page.