Advocates: Paul Allen

Paul Allen is Alan Ayckbourn's biographer and a long-time supporter of the Stephen Joseph Theatre - indeed of regional theatre in general. In 1976, he was the first regional journalist to be named Critic Of The Year in the British Press Awards for television and radio reviewing. He has long been associated with BBC Radio and presenting programmes such as Kaleidoscope and Night Waves. He is the author of Alan Ayckbourn: Grinning At The Edge and The Pocket Guide To Alan Ayckbourn's Plays.


"With Ayckbourn we’ve learnt to look anew at the sort of women who have been sent up as silly or neurotic or bossy or sexually threatening by the theatre. Women who have been disastrously suppressed by life itself."

"Ayckbourn has a vast and exhilarating appetite for theatre itself, what it can do that nothing else can."

"We often forget the double meaning of the word 'play' in the theatre and that one legitimate function of the arts is still to give the paying customer a thrill. Ayckbourn never forgets that and I hope this self-detracting artist can conserve his talent and stay in Scarborough because no other trip to the theatre gives me quite the same anticipatory lift to the spirits."

"He is funny, truthful and compassionate, and has a gift for making us see the same incident in quite striking different ways within a second or two."

"An astute theatre technician and a talented director."

"The essential qualities of Alan Ayckbourn's theatre is not comedy but theatricality and truth."

“In the heyday of his popular success, his influence ran like blood through the veins of theatre - it got everywhere. He gave reps cast-iron hits and audiences something they weren’t getting anywhere else.”
Copyright: Paul Allen. All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd, please credit this website if reproduced.