The Girl Next Door: Quotes by Alan Ayckbourn

The Girl Next Door is an affirmation of love across the generations - I hope it’s positive and hopeful for those today crawling out of their metaphorical Anderson shelters blinking into the light.”
Alan Ayckbourn (April, 2021)

“I was born in 1939, so my earliest memories are of a sort of lockdown: of crowding into Anderson shelters or subway stations; of sleeping in deckchairs or on my mother’s lap. Things have come full circle for me.”

(In conversation, April 2021)

"Hopefully, The Girl Next Door will be not be out of tune with the mood of the audiences as it is at the moment in that it is a cheery, slightly bitter-sweet, but - nonetheless - a non-down ending so at least, possibly in tone, it is fitting for the time."
(Interview with Simon Murgatroyd, 20 April 2021)

"The theme the play is that despite all these setbacks - World War II and viruses - that love will carry on and it survives generations and it survives disasters and then, hopefully, it will always stay there despite the muddying circumstances of the time."
(Interview with Simon Murgatroyd, 20 April 2021)

"There’s some nice ironies to be had with paralleling the two pictures because it brings back many of my themes, the changes of attitude we have to women and therefore equally to men and therefore - equally to society - which has moved a long way in what has been my lifetime."
(Interview with Simon Murgatroyd, 20 April 2021)

“My spirit in lockdown had begun to pall, especially in this one, as I’ve had no springboard for my work. Like everyone else, I decided to keep busy at all costs: I wrote play after play, four actually, but they just lay there, unexplored, neglected, unfulfilled, because I had no feedback from actors or audiences of course, so I couldn’t move forward. I was parked on the runway, seeing where I might fly off to next.”
(The Press, 6 May 2021)

“I felt that spirit of optimism as I wrote it because the country needs a bit of optimism right now,” he says. “The last thing anyone wants to watch is someone saying ‘there’s no more hope, folks’. So writing the play, it was my life meeting me coming back, because my first memories were of lockdown in wartime, sheltering under the beds, waiting for the bombs to drop. Now we’re sheltering at home, waiting for the germs to land. It’s interesting that the parallels are there, though I don’t want to rub them in, so all I can say is, ‘don’t worry, folks, we’ve been here before; the world won’t end’, though many feared it was in wartime.”
(The Press, 6 May 2021)

"My biographer, Paul Allen, wrote to me and said, I wonder how many people realise they’ve watched a tragedy. It’s a deeply sad play really, which has its funny moments. I love to keep all the colours on the palette."

(Big Ideas by the Sea interview, 29 June 2021)