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'Deadlines in the theatre, in my experience, are more negotiable. But they are vital. Their effect is best summed up by that old dictum: Nothing concentrates the mind like the hangman’s noose. It makes the writer write. '
'This re-sensitizing to nature has had a profound effect on me. On a recent trip to China I realized, after a week or so, something was terribly wrong. I had not seen a single insect in days. Not an ant, not a cockroach... We started to look for them. '
'A friend stepped in to say that she would care for Boy 1, for one day a week, alongside her other three children; in return, we would feed her and the family on Sundays. What a gift! Now I had one whole day a week to write, guaranteed.'
'When Inspiration does turn up, like a dodgy guest at a party, there's no guarantee it will appreciate the nature of the event. A bottle of whisky and a sympathy card is welcome at a wake; a pair of bunny ears and a strippergram, possibly not.'
'Somewhere out there, on the very fringes of memory, is buried the single word, 'effluvium'. And not far from that, my best stage direction ever; 'the stage fills with blood'.'
'And so I arrive at my desk, dogged and fogged by the play still hunting a producer, and the book that has come back again — this time, from a publishing house so small it must be staffed by Borrowers.'
'This is most precious of all to me; Andrei Platonov has an unquenchable belief that ordinary people, however damaged, can, and will, given time, get their act together.'
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