11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Generous and practical but funny too,
This review is from: The Crafty Art of Playmaking (Paperback)
I was so fed up with dry, wordy books about playwriting. There are so many which just witter on about the minutiae of writing that they're actually very offputting and intimidating to a new writer. They're probably irritating to experienced writers as well because they would feel patronised and limited. I think a lot about playwriting (and directing, because that's given equal importance in this book) has to do with spontaneity. Ayckbourn allows for that, and instead of giving a formula for writing, he suggests 'obvious rules', which you can then either take on board or discard as something you already knew. He actually says in his introduction that a lot of what he will say will be familiar, and yes, some of it was, but he presents it freshly and with evidence from his own work to really bang home the essentials of making a play.
Not to mention the humour! The book has real comedy value. The anecdotes about meeting actors or lighting technicians are really witty, and made me feel less scared and daunted by the whole process of play production. It's so good to read something which makes the theatre a real, normal environment, instead of the ego factory it sometimes seems to be! And that's coming from me, an aspiring dramatist who wants to join the ego factory!
I'm really grateful to Ayckbourn for being so generous in sharing his experiences and expertise. It's not good to be stubborn that your way is the only way in writing or directing, so I recommend that anyone wanting to join the theatre in some way reads this and absorbs his advice into your career and attitude. We luvvies could all do with a bit of Ayckbourn's down-to-earth approach. Look where it got him...!