… If academics and critics — and theatres — overlook me, it’s a poor response for me as a dramatist to complain. My job is to go on doing my job.
… In Britain, the term political is narrowly understood. And it tends to denote, of theatre, a drama that espouses a particular ideology or polemic, almost always toward the Left. I was never classed as a “political” dramatist, rather as some wild marginal creature, unpolitical. Yet I’ve always felt that life has stationed me at the centre of the essential conflict where our authentic identity confronts all that is ranged against it. In that existential sense, I am political.
… It’s not granted to us all, to be heroes or martyrs. But in our culture at least, spared some of the “hierarchy of needs,” we have the energy and means — I would say, the obligation — continually to re-author ourselves. The impulse of political institutions will always be reductionist: to limit us to identities that stop growing, that can be mechanically satisfied, predicted and controlled. I believe it to be our moral human duty to subvert that. It’s an anarchist stance, in the classical sense of that word. And if I look back over the protagonists in my drama, I see almost each one in a process of unruly becoming, virtually a coming to new birth. At last, each seizes his or her own life, wrests it from those forces that would seek to control it, and makes a naked gesture of starting to live. (One conspicuous exception is The Triumph of Death, a title which speaks for itself. And that it is an exception, that too speaks for itself.) However daunting the play’s end-state, to the character on the space, that end is a beginning. I have been howled down by various political activists for not “giving” my characters a creed or value-system to take into their new lives. That’s the whole point. It is of such prescripts that we must be free.