Interview: The Press (16 February 1990)

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

An Exclusive Interview With The Elusive Mr Ayckbourn

by Larry Saunders

"Although I wanted to be an
actor originally, I found that all aspects of the theatre attracted me. A whole new world opened up. Lighting, sound, costume - they were all fascinating."

"The Stephen Joseph Theatre gives me the chance to fail and to experiment. And it's a wonderful place to work. I'm a small town boy by nature, not a big city man. Being away from London takes the pressure off and gives me control over my own work. You see, I submit my plays to myself and I've never had a play rejected yet!"

"I do write my plays very quickly - or have done in the past .Now I'm in my 50's I'm going to slow down a bit and take four or five days instead. I carry my ideas around in my head for months. I incubate them. Then I closet myself away and let them all out at once."

"In my recent plays I've been balancing out the darker elements with the lighter side and integrating the whole more. I've always found inserting comic scenes into serious plays a bit off, even scenes like the porter in
Macbeth. It's more interesting to try and find themes of laughter through serious scenes. I call it theatrical Optrex - it keeps the eyes open. People tend to shut their eyes too quickly if something is painful to watch. I know I do - I hide behind my seat."