Interview: The Press (18 July 2008)

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

Only The Lonely

by Charles Hutchinson

"This one [
Life & Beth] is about closure and about parents and their children. In Snake In The Grass, it's about how two daughters are affected by their off-stage father; in Haunting Julia, it's about the off-stage daughter being screwed up by her parents, and in turn she screws up her father."

"In
Life & Beth, Beth and Gordon seemed to have had the perfect marriage, and for Beth, her husband's death was a natural closure, but where everyone else thinks there should be more grief from her, she sees it as an end of a chapter. She wants closure."

"When someone dies, they've gone on to something better or worse, and you think, 'for goodness sake, get on with your own life'. Women often outlive their husbands and go on to have a second life, where they go round the world or go berserk and marry again. It's the ones who fade away that you feel sorry for, the ones you wish could close the book and carry on like Beth does."

"I think it might be a theme in my work, though I would hate to feel all my men are dreadful. There's a fair number of male monsters in these plays, but I've written female monsters in my plays too - and what's the point of writing about thoroughly nice people? We all just feel jealous. As someone said to me, when they come to my plays, 'we always come out thinking at least our marriage isn't that bad'!"