Interview: Wigan Evening Post (1 July 1981)

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

Ayckbourn Plays It By The Book

by Francesca Hare

"It's the absolute paradise [Scarborough]. I decide what plays to do, cast them, no one interferes, I even put off first nights," he says, sipping his tea and eyeing that chandelier.

"I'd written a little before then [his first play]; pseudo Pirandello and Ionesco. All awful plays, so awful no actor would even read them...
Stephen Joseph was one of those men with the great gift for putting people in the right place."

"I've got various notions washing around in my head at the moment, most will evaporate though. Ideas come differently every time. I used to work out the plot, now I take two or three characters and it comes from that."

"It's all a bit pre-natal [prior to writing a play]. I mend lots of things and I'm not very good at mending things and I find lots of excuses not to write, like painstakingly numbering the pages from 1-600. I once wrote half a play using a Biro instead of a pencil which I normally use and then blamed the fact that it wasn't any good on the Biro. I do get a bit grumpy, I'm afraid."