Sir Alan Ayckbourn is not only one of our most prominent playwrights, but also a most prolific. Aside from the works mentioned here, his plays include the trilogy The Norman Conquests, Absurd Person Singular, Woman in Mind and A Chorus of Disapproval. He's won many honors, including seven London Evening Standard Awards and the Writer's Guild of Great Britain Lifetime Achievement Award. He's is the artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, where he premiers his work. He's been decorated Commander Order British Empire; he was knighted in 1977.

An excerpt from Steve Capra's interview with Mr. Ayckbourn
in Theater Voices

SC: Would it be fair to say that, like Shaw, you're "coating the pill with sugar"?

AA: A little bit - a little bit! I think I tend to write naturally that way. There was a point in my life when I tried to exclude comedy because I mistakenly thought it sort of belittled what I was writing about, and then I realized, in fact, it extended what I was writing about. Comic dramatists have inferiority complexes, probably because they're always being told - not by their audiences, but by their critics quite a lot - that they're less important than serious dramatists.