Interview: Daily Telegraph (22 August 1986)

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

Ayckbourn's Reluctant Farewell To Scarborough

by Robin Stringer

"My work levels are very high. I get a bit agitated if I am not doing something. Some directors lie down for a year-and-a-half after they have directed a play absolutely exhausted. But I work on the principle that if you keep moving fast enough, they can never all quite get you."

"There was a feeling that I needed Scarborough as much as Scarborough needed me. Neither is true. Both can survive without the other."

"It's nice to be in someone else's theatre where they empty the ashtrays. I have survived at Scarborough by constantly surprising everybody a bit, but in the end you do things for the sake of surprising yourself, like cancelling first nights or something."

"You can get very badly treated as a dramatist unless you take firm control of your affairs as I have done and direct your own plays. If you don't fight for the commas, you find your sentences are gone."

"Scarborough has that delicious but slightly depressing attitude that because it's in Scarborough, it cannot be very good. I got fed up with screaming, 'You've got a really first-rate theatre and you are going to lose it. People will not put money in if you don't want it'."

"For preference, I would love to be associated with Scarborough because I think it is a very special place. It has grown up with me. It still carries the touch of
Stephen Joseph who started it, and it still has the amazing capacity for putting on new plays because people expect new plays".