Interview: The Times (2 January 2006)

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

Obdurate Person Singular

by Judy Meewezen

“I don’t think the West End is a very friendly place for theatre at the moment, unless the plays are loaded with international stars. They seem to need them.”

“Theatre is a precinct, a place where you can go and get angry and discuss things.”

“Commercial theatre managers need their actors for six months, if they are going to break even. Nowadays actors - or their agents - try to get three month contracts. They go on, they get their reviews and they get out.”

“As a writer, there’s a sense you belong on the shop floor. It’s important to have that experience: look at Shakespeare.”

“I had the great luck of inheriting a theatre and I’ve never had arguments about what is done here. It’s a big responsibility. You have no checks on what you do, which can be detrimental. Of course there are plays that have sunk without trace. On the other hand, I believe in the right to fail. In London, you feel your stock is going down if your play doesn’t run for very long.”