Interview: Plays & Players (June 1990)

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

Intimate Exchanges

by Vera Lustig

"Margaret Thatcher on a moped - that's the kind of image I like to give actors to work on."

"[I direct] like a sheepdog, running along beside the actors, making sure they don't fall over the edge of a cliff, just occasionally guiding them towards a gate."

"An idea that comes from an actor is five times better than one you've given them."

Stephen Joseph was a purist. He insisted that you had to stop acting as soon as you reached the mouth of the vom. It was very difficult if you were supposed to be in a furious temper."

"With theatre in the round, the acting space belongs to both the audience and the performers. That's the beauty of it. As the audience comes in, it's theirs. Then it's turned over to the actors, to play for a while…."