What they said:

“He was an extremist for the Round but then . . . he was an extremist about everything . . . being a pioneer makes you extreme . . . he believed that you should go the full round or not at all.”   Sir Alan Ayckbourn

“Perhaps the most successful missionary to have worked in the English Theatre since the Second World War.”  Obituary - The Times

“Life was for Stephen . . . an endless wonder. He met it with the eyes of a child and the mind of a man.”  Emeritus Professor Hugh Hunt

What they are saying

I could have done with more of your brilliant word pictures . . .the book is a triumph.  Richard Gill, Director Parasol Theatre

What a fascinating story you’ve re-told. Not only that, you’ve made a major contribution to British Theatre History by recording it for posterity.  Tony Robinson, Actor and TV Presenter

The book is a worthy memento to a very special man of the theatre.  Richard Pilbrow, Theatre Projects, Connecticut

It is written most economically and makes every word tell. . . brought to a splendid conclusion.  Alan MacFarlane, Director (rtd) Collins Reference Division

“An excellent study of a unique character … opens up the subject for argument once more.”  Jonathan Cecil, Book reviewer

Our meetings were always enlivened by (his) somewhat anarchic reaction . . . Your book was a joy to read, enthralling. Gripping too . . . the quality and range of your research made a well told story into an authoritative, fascinating work of scholarship.  Douglas Cornelissen, ex A.B.T.T.

Those who knew him realised the breadth of his theatrical vision . . . Lane is very good at bringing out the struggle against the odds that was a dominant feature of an embattled life.  Emeritus Professor Peter Thomson, Studies in Theatre & Performance

I had a lovely time reading it. Laughed a lot. Nodded a deal saying “Oh yes, I remember that.”  Alan Plater, Writer

Stephen Joseph and Terry Lane Photo Ken Boden
Stephen Joseph and Terry Lane Photo Ken Boden

What it says:

The book is an examination of intrigue: familial, matrimonial, social, institutional, even political. The author has chanced the frowned-upon – a popular biography of an academic subject.

In racing terms Stephen Joseph claimed to be – “Out of Gingold by Maschwitz” – La Gingold (Hermione) was his mother. His father was actually the publisher Michael Joseph. Maschwitz was merely the co-respondent! The book charts his tempestuous childhood, his school, drama college and wartime careers (twice decorated), and his role in the renaissance of the post-war Cambridge Footlights.

He was a teacher, writer, lectured on playwriting and was later Lecturer at Manchester University. In his role as director of his Studio Theatre Company he was the catalyst for theatrical experiment in the second half of the twentieth century. He championed new writing in the theatre, was the first person to stage the works of Robert Bolt, Colin Wilson and encouraged his own stable of writers, most notably Sir Alan Ayckbourn and others renowned such as David Campton, Mike Stott and Richard Gill.

The book presents an overview of the century before Stephen began his company and indicates trends in the half century since his death.

"If, when mankind finally disintegrates, whoever created him has been stimulated
and amused, mankind will have accomplished something."
Stephen Joseph