Interview: Daily Telegraph (2 June 1989)

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

Ayckbourn's Birthday Indulgence

by Ian Williams

"I thought that if tragedies were allowed to go on at some length, why not comedies? "It [The Revengers' Comedies] has 25 to 30 sets, and 14 actors playing 18 characters," he says, hoping for an Equity job opportunity award for his pains.

"My theatrical career was launched by the French master
Edgar Matthews. He not only encouraged me to act, he pulled the only string he-had in the theatre, Donald Wolfit, to get me work."

"There was some distance between writers and the theatre in those days. Most playwrights were either famous and living in France, or dead. He encouraged everyone to write, including me, and after a while the plays became more successful than my acting, or my directing."

"It was cheaper [in-the-round] - there was a lot less scenery - and more importantly, it was more intimate for the audience. At a time when live stage performances seemed threatened by TV, it was 3D theatre."

"Two thirds of our [Scarborough's] catchment area is fish."

"They're [the plays] about the basics, really. Birth, death and marriage."