Interview: Daily Mail (24 August 1974)

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

Upside Down Writer Has Another Hit Coming

by Christine Dunn

"I have never written or begun writing a play without knowing that it was going to be produced."

His theatre-in-the-round was as successful as his writing, so there was never any feeling of being third choice to the Cilla Black Show at the Futurist, or the Bachelors at the Floral Hall Theatre.

"My theatre is the size of a postage stamp - with six actors and one set, but we've had a full house since early June and we can't do any better. Fortunately this place has a slightly dicey climate - we used to pray for rain after six o'clock in the old days - now there's no need. There is a limit to the times people can take in the usual seaside shows - so they come to us. And a proportion of the audience have never been to a real theatre before in their lives before.'

"Another time we put on a midnight matinee for charity at the Futuristic Theatre. It was terrible - all the comics refused to get off, they were doing Frankie Howerd jokes, but we had him there as well. My company put on the first act of Pinter's
The Birthday Party and the audience loved it for the first original jokes they'd heard all evening. The curtain didn't go down till 3.30 a.m. - the mayor was furious - people were asleep in their seats like the aftermath of an orgy. Frankie Howerd said: 'Even God wouldn't make them laugh at this time of night.'"