Interview: Daily Telegraph (10 February 1990)

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

Just Between Ourselves

by Philip Oakes

"As a director, I know that comedy's difficult to do, especially the sort that I write. A lot of actors think they can do it. But the fact is very few of them can. At the very most I know about 50 actors in Britain who can play comedy and that's both men and women. There are some you take a chance on and some that fade away. I tend to stick with those I regard as ace interpreters."

"Too much socialising spoils a play. There is a sacred trust when you are directing someone. They want you to keep a certain distance from them, so you can maintain a fair, objective judgment. I've seen directors who like to drink with the lads and at half past one in the morning they start to say things they felt but never should have said. And it does frightful damage. Six months into the run you can say pretty well what you want to. But timing is essential."

"If you work with people and like working with them, you can assume you'll work with them again. It really is like a family."