The Sparrow: Quotes by Alan Ayckbourn

"I suppose every writer who writes a hit play has ghost chasing him. If people like your play you are, after all, faced with a decision. You can either write the same play again under a different title and probably enjoy at least three-quarter of your previous success over again. Or you can keep faith with yourself and try to do something different."
(Radio Times, 27 February 1969)

"Since I was following up a winner [
Relatively Speaking], there was more work in that play [The Sparrow], and I still think it was better than Relatively Speaking."
(Scarborough Evening News, 13 August 1971)

“Obviously I don't believe, in retrospect, that it's as good a play [as
Relatively Speaking], but it's only had three weeks in its life, those three weeks at Scarborough. It's probably worth a little more than that. At the time, the only reason it was suppressed was it was a bit like The Knack, somebody said. Since I hadn't seen The Knack [by Ann Jellicoe], I didn't realize. I've seen The Knack since. It is a bit like The Knack - it's got a girl in the lead, that's what it was. But then, so has Antony & Cleopatra, you know”
(Municipal Entertainment, May 1978)

"I wrote a very good Pinter play years ago. Nobody wanted to do it because Pinter was currently writing them better, but it taught me a lot about playwriting and the use Pinter made of language or the lack of it."
(Correspondence, 1986)

“The girl's role in
Relatively Speaking is the least fun to do and, probably out of guilt, I tried to remedy this by writing a wonderful vehicle for a girl in my next one. Pamela Craig was marvellous as Evie and the play was a great Scarborough success. It was John Nettles' first job, long before he became the sleuth from Jersey [referring to the British TV detective series Bergarac]. Bob Powell became a national TV star in Doomwatch about three months after he'd finished playing Tony. Too late! Too late! It wasn't a bit like The Knack, incidentally.”
(‘Ayckbourn at 50’ souvenir programme)

Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn