Dad's Tale: Quotes by Alan Ayckbourn

“I'm never quite sure how David's [Campton] talent would have developed, had he been allowed not to be quite so strongly dominated by Stephen [Joseph] saying: 'This is what I want, David; can you write it?'
“The only time Stephen tried that with me was on
Dad's Tale, when I learnt quite an object lesson. He wanted me to collaborate with David; and David wrote a synopsis for Dad's Tale, based on The Borrowers. By the time I got it, I found I was unable actually to work to other people's ideas. I was maybe too undisciplined, I don't know; so I totally went my own way.”
(Ian Watson, ‘Conversations With Ayckbourn’)

“Stephen just said: “Um… will you be putting any ballet into your play?” And I said “WHAT!” and he said: “Ballet.” Well I pointed out that I didn’t write ballet but Stephen just said I should.”
(Paul Allen, ‘Grinning at the Edge’)

“I wrote this for two quite separate companies, one based in Scarborough, the other in Birmingham. The two never actually met each other till the final rehearsal. This was also the last time I played multiple roles. I spent the evening rushing on and off, changing moustaches. The play had its moments, thanks to a witty production by Clifford Williams and a rich central performance by Stanley Page as Dad. It was my first children's show. It opened in Scarborough just before Christmas and, including the director, played to an audience of five with an average age of forty. It was my first taste of theatrical failure. I was very depressed and gave up writing for several months.”
(‘Ayckbourn at 50’ souvenir programme)

"Clifford [Williams] came back to direct. And it was not a success. It was not a success (a) because I think we were into a winter season in Scarborough, which never established itself; and (b) because it was a children's play. It was certainly more successful than my second children's play, but we were actually doing it at a time when there weren't any children around! Instead of doing it in school time, when you could con a few of them in there, we were doing it just before Christmas. And it had a disastrous first night.
"It had an extraordinary brief. It was written for two companies, us and the British Dance Drama Theatre, who weren't going to meet until very late on in rehearsals. Clifford was directing our company; Gerard Bagley was directing the dance company. And what I had to do was write the play overall, then write separately the story that the ballet should take. They were to rehearse this entirely separately, and then we fused them together when the two companies got together in Scarborough; in fact, once or twice the actors got involved in the ballets; but they were always pushed around or shoved into places. It was quite an adventurous show, really."
(Ian Watson, ‘Conversations With Ayckbourn’)

“It was meant to be [funny]. I think it was. It never actually got an audience to prove it.”
(Ian Watson, ‘Conversations With Ayckbourn’)

Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn