Sisterly Feelings: Quotes by Alan Ayckbourn

"I set myself a deadline to get it finished, as I always do, but I crept over it by a couple of days. I knew it was going to be big in terms of amount of dialogue, but when we came to actually duplicating and correlating the scripts I think we surprised ourselves. We ran off 30 scripts of each, and they have 125 pages in each version. That took us about 12 hours.... Naturally, we are all getting a little tired [in rehearsals], as it's a 'big' play - really two - for the actors to learn, and it's certainly the biggest set we've done down here. I'm very optimistic; things have a habit of coming together for first nights - it's a sort of inbuilt timing mechanism we seem to have - touch wood! It's a unique experiment for us and the audience."
(Scarborough Evening News, 8 January 1979)

Sisterly Feelings I had two actresses who look a bit alike so I decided to write a play about two sisters."
(Yorkshire Post, 2 February 1979)

"That was when I started to think, 'if the National [Theatre] wants me, I might as well use it to do plays that are less viable commercially, while at the same time trying not to make the terrible mistake of getting into very, very heavy plays. So I wrote Sisterly Feelings, which was just complex in its structure. It was the first of the 'alternate' plays, and it seemed to me that only a theatre with a repertoire system could run it."
(Ian Watson, Conversations With Ayckbourn)

Regarding writing about sisters: "I find there is in many relationships - certainly parental ones, also I suspect with brothers and sisters - a sort of love-hate. There probably is a great deal of animosity, but there are moments when they just touch and react as one, because they both have the same attitude. It's a closeness that can't be touched by an outsider."
(Ian Watson, Conversations With Ayckbourn)

"The other thing I suppose it [
Sisterly Feelings] says is that it doesn't make all that much bloody difference anyway. Unlike a lot of plays which say you always get married to the wrong person, it also says you get married to the right person: if you don't like them, it's probably your fault for being the sort of person you are,"
(Michael Billington: Alan Ayckbourn)

"I've always tried to express the fact that theatre is live. If that means two people tossing a coin to decide which way they're going - well it keeps the adrenaline in the actors and makes the audience think, 'Hey, this play really is live!'"
(Theatre Monthly, May 1991)

"It is, quite obviously, a play (plays) about choice. The first scene is always constant but, from then on, from the toss of the coin we are off (to some extent) into a journey to the unknown. I think it's important that they're done randomly at least occasionally. Though it has to be said when we played them both at Scarborough and at the National Theatre we did do every third performance random followed by two fixed. That was so you could be guaranteed to see all versions. In the early days there was one poor man who kept coming on the off chance of seeing Tent (Abigail's variant of Act II, scene I) and it took him four visits before he saw it!"
(Personal correspondence, 2000)

Sisterly Feelings] has the effect of stimulating actors, irritating stage managers and infuriating box office staff."
(Source to be confirmed)

Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn