Interview: Western Daily Mail (24 February 1990)

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

A most singular playwright, but never absurd

by Fraser Massey

"I was doing a TV interview one day when quite accidentally I dried up. The look of alarm on the face of the interviewer was a sight to behold. He had obviously accepted that I was in full flow and would be good for at least another two minutes and had stopped listening. He had no idea what to do. But generally being interviewed is a conspiracy between the one asking the questions and the one answering them. Both know what is required of them. There is a tacit understanding that both will play the game. But as an interviewee if you want to spoil things for the interviewer it is really easy to do."

"I don't normally like to go back on my old work, but there is now a whole generation of theatre-goers who have no idea what I had done in the past. A lot of people who now go to the theatre weren't even born when
Absurd Person Singular was first produced. It's a play that seems to have a certain relevance to today. If I do go back I try not to re-write, I like to think I'm a better writer today, but if you start unravelling something there is a danger that the whole thing will come apart."