Interview: Daily Telegraph (3 March 1998)

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

Arise, Sir Laughalot

by Charles Spencer

"I always thought that if I did get knighted I owed it to Heather [Stoney][ to marry her because it would give her such a thrill. But at the same time I thought, well, Chris [his first wife] has stuck by me too. And then I realised I could do it, I could get them both in."

"I look back at my career and I think I'm a bit like a cricketer. You get patches when you are not scoring very heavily - but luckily Scarborough has always been there to get me through and I've never written a play that has actually bankrupted the theatre."

"As people keep reminding me, I'm in injury time now."

"There is always the nightmare that one day I'll wake up and there won't be anything there, no new idea for a play. It's like carrying a child around with you - you can play with it in your head and deliver it when you like. I do like bouncing the embryo."

"I suppose I'm looking for the future commercial writers, for plays that don't shirk on issues but still manage to attract the widest audience. In Scarborough we use that taboo word 'entertainment' quite a lot. I occasionally find myself saying, 'We are in showbiz, folks…'."

"It's as if I was running the thing [the Stephen Joseph Theatre] entirely for my own pleasure. In fact I'm the one person who doesn't need it, I can go and work elsewhere."