Comic Potential: Quotes by Alan Ayckbourn

"It's about what makes us human, the relationship between laughter and love. It's a romance. It's a latter-day Pygmalion. They [Jacie and Adam] become emotionally involved and it's like a mixed race marriage of a few years ago. It's looked on slightly askance by some people, the idea of a human man taking up with a mechanical woman....
"It's quite significant if you read the lonely hearts columns everyone always chooses a good sense of humour - GSOH is on every single thing. I think most people acquaint in a funny oblique way sharing laughter together with love. I'm sure there are couples who have never smiled in their lives, who are nevertheless passionately in love, but they seem to be the exception. I was interested if there was a connection because we are one of the rare species who have a sense of humour. We're also a species who falls in love for intentions other than procreation and t wonder if the two aren't related in some way. There are some cynics who say there is no love unless it's sexual but I don't believe that. There is love on all sorts of levels. [Jacie and Adam's love is] fairly platonic. She's not really equipped for that. I expect they could have a bit of fun....
"It's about what makes us laugh. It's a bit of a comedy master class."
(Yorkshire Post, 22 May 1998)

"This is about the missing link robot, the one that develops a sense of humour. My other premise is that humour can and very often does lead to love. People who laugh together very often end up living together....
"[Mistrusting their emotions] sometimes humans do just as much as androids. They try and hide them and pretend they don't have them and sometimes it plays absolute havoc with human wiring just as much as android wiring."
(The Big Issue, 8 June 1998)

"I am interested in the allegorical properties of science fiction, the way one can use the medium to reflect the present day. It keeps cropping up in my work, although l never call it science fiction because people get a little jumpy about it. Theatre can do domestic sci-fi that doesn't require high technology. If you want to take on the full might of the Spielberg empire on a budget of £10,000, you're in for heartache. Science fiction can be about the nature of what is going to happen to the human race, and that is where theatre can do it - certainly I'm doing it. I will soon want to write about the future family: what will happen to the family unit which has been slowly disintegrating in the past few decades? All the projections one could write about in theatre would probably not interest film and television, because it is less spectacular. But I think it is just as interesting. What will happen not to the planetary system, but to people? One has to boil it down to that ingredient that theatre deals with best. I enjoy the freedom it gives you to re-invent the world. That is often denied you if you're stuck in the present day. Adult audiences, every bit as much as children's audiences, love the invitation to loosen their imaginations:"
(The Herald, 19 June 1998)

"I wanted to write a play about the nature of being human, and so I came up with this
Pygmalion-esque story about a boy who falls in love with an android. I don't specify the time, but it's probably closer than we think. I think there are two things that separate us from the animals - the ability to fall in love and a sense of humour, and it's no coincidence that the two are so closely linked. Look at those lonely-hearts ads - they all demand GSOH - good sense of humour. They think they could love someone as long as they could make them laugh....
"[The play] was to answer all those people who keep asking me why I didn't write a serious play. I'm very happy to be privileged enough to write comedy. It doesn't mean seriousness has to go out of the window."
(Sunday Times, 3 October 1999)

"[Regarding the apparently happy ending] I think they [the humans] should feel very frightened. They will have good and bad days; she [Jacie the android] never will. She can outstay and outperform humans."
(Sunday Telegraph, 3 October 1999)

Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn.

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