Interview: Daily Telegraph (30 August 1986)

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

Ayckbourn: Man With A Woman In Mind

by Robin Stringer

"Whatever else I am, I am a fairly good craftsman. If a chap is walking across the stage with the tea things. I tend to give him enough lines to get to the other side", he explains with characteristic modest understatement. "When it comes to distributing stage time, I know when half an hour has passed and when seemingly half an hour has passed".

"I remember doing a season with
Stephen Joseph with one wooden box as all the scenery for every play we did. In the end, the cast asked me as stage manager to intercede. 'The lads feel they have had the box', I told Stephen. 'You had better paint it then', he said. 'So I painted it red', is that it?' they said. 'Yes', I said It was bad enough for the actors but the audience came and they could not work out whether they had seen it before or not".

"You can get very badly treated as a dramatist unless you take firm control of your affairs. If you do not fight for your commas, you find your sentences are gone."

"There is something very pleasing about providing audiences with three levels of enjoyment in a play with content that is interesting both verbally and visually and in itself"