Interview: The Observer (5 January 1997)

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

Luvvies Versus Lavvies

by Michael Coveney

"Subsidy should be regarded as an investment in new talent and a means to accessibility. I always find these accusatory slurs very hurtful. I inherited a policy of doing new work and catering for as mixed an audience - all age groups, all classes - as possible. I believe we've been true to that and it always annoys me when these wrangles start questioning one's artistic integrity."

"If we had not moved into the new theatre [the Stephen Joseph Theatre], we would have slowly sunk away to nothing. We will survive. I am optimistic we will be seen, in three or four years' time, as such an integral part of the town that no one would dream of writing a letter or voting against us."

"I genuinely think that most people are not destined to be happy except in short bursts."

"I think a piece of us dies in marriage. We can't keep up the initial spark. Once the little blaze of kerosene that started the bonfire settles down to a gentle crackle, we wonder whether we've got enough fuel to keep it going. Sometimes we look around and there's absolutely nothing left."