Interview: The Press (17 September 2010)

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

Life Of Riley

by Charles Hutchinson

“A lot of my plays look wistfully at what we might have been doing rather than what we are doing.” says Alan. On this occasion, the life of George Riley has only a few months remaining, but while his closest friends remember with love, nostalgia, or occasional bursts of fury, how deeply he has affected their past lives, maverick George is plotting a last final farewell that threatens to upset all their lives.

“I was once asked by an angry woman in the bar why I never wrote about happy couples, and I said, ‘because they’re rather dull.”

“I thought it was time to have another outdoor play, as you can tell time passing much better there than anywhere else, and in the outdoors my characters seem to talk about themselves much more openly because they don’t feel they’re in a confined space. They’ll talk about themselves in a confessional way, with a couple of cows wandering in the field, which gives the play a more pastoral feel. It has its quiet moments, so it’s more of a pastoral symphony. We just seem to need to double the space between us metaphorically when we’re outdoors. It’s a complete contrast to the tiny table for two with the man stuck to the table, about to be asked the big question. Outside, it becomes freer; blokes feel happier.”