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.”
The author Terry Lane. founder and first Artistic Director of The Traverse Theatre, worked for Stephen Joseph through six seasons.