Interview: Over 21 (August 1978)

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

Ayckbourn: On Men And Women

by Paul Vallely

"If they [the plays] transfer to the West End or sell in South America or Russia all well and good. But I never think about that in advance. I just write bearing in mind the limitations that a small theatre, a limited number of actors and a budget create."

"It [
The Norman Conquests] happened because a young reporter from the local paper once asked at the end of a season what I was doing next and I said I was doing a trilogy because I couldn't think of anything else to say. Then, months later, at the start of the new season there it was: 'Local Playwright Writes Trilogy'. The theatre manager rang me and asked if he should issue a statement denying it. But I thought I might as well have a go. I wrote all three plays at once: first three scene Is, then three scene 2s. It wasn't as difficult as I'd imagined."

"I suppose I'm lucky enough in always having known, being the director of a theatre, that what I wrote would be put on. I haven't earned enough to be able to retire. I have to keep writing. And directing."

"Mostly my characters are amalgams of various people I've known. Occasionally I am tempted to drop characters in whole. But you can go too far."