Interview: Radio Times (27 February 1969)

This page reproduces some of Alan Ayckbourn's significant quotes from the interview.

A Profile Of Alan Ayckbourn

by Brian Finch

"I like the place [Scarborough] and I like the work. I don't, after all, consider myself exclusively as a writer. Working on other people's work for a large part of the day helps me with my own. And then again, I've tried locking myself away from it all in a country cottage and trying to write, and all that happened was that I found myself going rapidly to seed.

"There is always the temptation when you do write a hit play to let yourself be gathered up in some sycophantic set. Successful young playwrights are, after all, nice things to be able to have at your party. But one of the beauties of living in Leeds is that it helps you to keep your feet on the ground. Most people around here, for instance, would be a lot more impressed to know that I'd written an episode of a television soap opera than a play which ran in the West End."

"I suppose every writer who writes a hit play has a ghost chasing him. If people like your play you are, after all, faced with a decision. You can either write the same play again under a different title and probably enjoy at least three-quarters of your previous success over again. Or you can keep faith with yourself and try to do something different."

"I suppose there must be room for one clown in the writing business," he says. 'I mean, l know people are dying, but people are also living. And living, at that, in extraordinary and hilarious situations."