Interview: Sunday Times Magazine (December 1976)

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

The Hit-Man From Scarborough

by Russell Miller

"I badly need the theatre. I am excited by it and I love working in it. I am a part-time writer - it only occupies me physically for about a week a year - and I'd be bloody bored for the other 51 weeks without the theatre."

"I get upset with people who think I am making an awful lot of money, because if you live in this country you don't, you really don't. I'd be a lot richer living abroad, but I don't like abroad much."

"To an outsider my plays might seem to be very similar, that's true, but I feel I am making progress as a writer, even though it may not be markedly obvious, and I think that is all I can hope for. Without being over-modest, I think by now that I can put a play together. As far as the shape goes I work on auto-pilot, so I can concern myself with the content. Plays are as much about what you leave out as what you put in; as far as mine are concerned, they are a sort of selective editing of life. I don't think now I should try and be clever and write a play about urban guerrillas, because I don't know anything about them. I think you should stick to what you know. My duty is to entertain and I don't think I have the right to suddenly change the genre without some terrible warning."