Advocates: Sir Michael Gambon

Sir Michael Gambon CBE is an Irish award-winning actor on both stage and screen. Well known for screen roles such as The Singing Detective and the Harry Potter movies, he is also regarded as a quintessential Ayckbourn actor. He has appeared in more West End productions of Alan's plays than any other actor and all three of his Olivier Awards have been achieved under Alan Ayckbourn's direction.


"Somehow in Ayckbourn I feel more at home: the language looks very easy and ordinary but actually it's tremendously precise and once you've got it right you can sort of lean on the dialogue for support and it sees you safely through to the end."

"Alan never leaves you out on a limb. He's so practised in this craft. You always know things are going to work, whether it's a laugh or a more serious impact."

"Alan understands actors totally."

"Alan can view the play as a whole, driving it along at terrific speed. But if you run into individual problems he's as helpful as anybody else. I don't want to paint him like a God but he is a perfect director."

"He's such fun, so reassuring, calming."

"He’s a very practical, down to earth proper theatre director. When you’re in an Ayckbourn play he’s directed, you know you’re safe, lines are drawn quite clearly, not to say they’re not inventive or imaginative, they’re just good to do."

"I fell in love with Alan Ayckbourn the day I met him and, starting with The Norman Conquests, went on to do eight plays with him. He tells you just what you want to know and has a brilliant way of solving problems."
Copyright: Michael Gambon. All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd, please credit this website if reproduced.