Interview: Evening News (13 August 1971)

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

One Over The Eight Makes Alan £600 A Week

by James Green

"As a result of my acting experience, you will never find a 'what say you, m'Lord' bit part in my plays. There are no postmen or butlers. I try to give everyone in the cast a real part. When I was acting and simply standing on stage like a piece of scenery, I would start asking myself what I was doing there and wondering whether to walk out."

"In all honesty I don't like writing plays. It is a love-hate process and I always delay starting which means I run up against deadlines in a frightful way. When I start - and often a play is promised for one week later when I haven't a word written - I write day and night. I can complete it in six days, sometimes, four days. My agent tells me I'm not to say so because it seems too casual, but it's the truth. I write in pencil long-hand first, then two-finger type, and finally I dictate the play. That way l can near the dialogue. Whatever you think about my plays, actors like them. They look at their part and | say 'Wow, the dialogue flows."

"One play caused me absolute panic. It was advertised, rehearsals were fixed, and I still hadn't started on it. Halfway through, the script died on me. There was only one thing to do. I drank far too much and collapsed. Then to get rid of the thick head I went for a long walk on the moors. I went back to the writing and finished it one day later."