To be in love with Debo Devonshire is hardly a distinction.
– Tom Stoppard
You can’t but know that if you can capture the emotions of the audience as well as their minds, the play will work better, because it’s a narrative art form.
I don’t believe there is something called ‘film’ and something called ‘theater,’ and that words belong in the theater. Some rather bad films have few words in them; some good films have a lot of words in them.
For me, the reputation for teaching language in general, and East European languages most particularly, gave Glasgow University, and by reflection the country, a distinction.
I get the impression sometimes that a play arrives in a sequence of events that I have no control over.
My family was in Singapore when the Japanese War started. We were in Singapore at the time of Pearl Harbor, and by the beginning of 1942, the Japanese invasion of Burma and Singapore had started.
I’m aware of my old plays and occasionally think about them, but I’m much more anxious about finding the next play.
Hotel rooms inhabit a separate moral universe.
Like many people, I only knew of Ford Madox Ford through a book called ‘The Good Soldier,’ which is everybody’s favorite Ford Madox Ford if they have one, but I came to read ‘Parade’s End’ when it was suggested via Damien Timmer of Mammoth Screen.
The days of the digital watch are numbered.
I am not somebody who meets a man or a woman somewhere and feels like that is an incredible character that I must write into a play.
All your life, you live so close to truth, it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye. And when something nudges it into outline, it is like being ambushed by a grotesque.
I’m hopeless at looking into myself and trying to see how things are working and why.
I can be affectionate about a lot of things without watching them.
My whole life is waiting for the questions to which I have prepared answers.
I’ve voted in every election – not always for the same political party and never with any degree of enthusiasm.
A ‘human right’ is, by definition, timeless. It cannot adhere to some societies and not others, at some times and not at other times.
I can’t remember what my first script was.
In January 1962, when I was the author of one and a half unperformed plays, I attended a student production of ‘The Birthday Party’ at the Victoria Rooms in Bristol. Just before it began, I realised that Harold Pinter was sitting in front of me.
When I was a reporter in Bristol, which I was between the years 1954 and 1960, the newspaper would get tickets for whoever showed up to play a gig at the big hall down the road, so I saw some wonderful people. The Everly Brothers, for example.
To be 64 is appalling, so what does it matter being 65?
I seem to be failing in my intention to be as boring as I possibly can be for self-protection.
For me, human rights simply endorse a view of life and a set of moral values that are perfectly clear to an eight-year-old child. A child knows what is fair and isn’t fair, and justice derives from that knowledge.
I wish I could remember how to write a play. I can’t remember how they happened.
You should not translate for more than two hours at a time. After that, you lose your edge, the language becomes clumsy, rigid.
Theatre is a series of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Pink Floyd are one of a handful of bands I’ve listened to a lot and whose concerts I’ve been to. I love the experience. I don’t dance; I just jig up and down like everybody else.
If you let the plot be determined by what you feel is in the character’s mind at that point, it may not turn out to be a very good play, but at least it will be a play where people are behaving in a kind of truthful way.
Lou Reed was a hero because he was an anti-hero.
If enough things that are untrue are said about you, no one will know what really is true.