Interview: Bristol Evening Post (8 March 1980)

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

Waiting In The Wings

by David Harrison

"I find it difficult to write plays in abstract - it's a continuous process from conception to performance and it has to be worked out here or it won't be done at all. When the National Theatre wanted to do
Bedroom Farce, I told them it would have to be seen first in Scarborough or it couldn't be done in London. I do tend to write with only Scarborough in mind. If I started to worry what the New York Times was going to think about a piece, it wouldn't get written at all."

"I only write one play a year which, like the planes at Heathrow, start circulating, waiting for an opening. The West End is three behind at the moment so
Sisterly Feelings will open in the spring, Taking Steps in the autumn and a musical called Suburban Strains next year. Then there will be another delay before they get out on tour again."

"I have shown the script [of
Taking Steps] to Ben Travers and he approves. It has more right to be called a farce - that is, ordinary people set in an increasingly ludicrous situation - than anything else I have ever written but it is also in my own personal tradition."

"Audiences have far more intelligence than they are often credited with."

"My plays do seem to do rather well in translation. I suppose it's because my characters represent what the world generally believes are real English types - soppy women and inadequate men."