Interview: London Mercury (31 May 1984)

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

All's Chaos In Alan's World

by Julian Cole

"Each play [Intimate Exchanges] starts from the same premise, a 30-second scene. I try to start with the most trivial decision it's possible to make in one's life: whether or not a woman should have a cigarette. The day she decides to resist she goes down to the garden shed and doesn't hear the doorbell and doesn't meet a man she would have met if she'd had a cigarette. And the decisions become more important."

"I wanted to be an
actor. I worked as an actor for eight years from the day I left school at 18 until I was 25."

"I usually take about a month off work [to write] and for three weeks I wander around getting highly nervous and doing nothing. Then with a week to go I suddenly become aware there's a cast and a designer waiting for a script - and in that week it gets done. I don't think I could write without the deadline," said Alan.

"What we didn't know when I we started it [
Intimate Exchanges] was just how much the human brain can hold. I suppose the two of them are walking around with about 14 or 15 hours of dialogue between them."