Writing a new play shouldn't be seen as a mystery belonging to a priesthood, but as a challenge, a technical challenge, just to get into it.

A healthy attitude is contagious but don't wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.

I don't want to come over as some boringly self-deprecating person. But I don't see myself as a groundbreaking writer in the way plays are structured.

When you try to grasp the way the Western world is going, you see that we are on a ratchet towards a surveillance state, which is coming to include the whole population in its surveillance. This is our reward for accepting the restraints on the way we live now.

My scripts are possibly too talkative. Sometimes I watch a scene I've written, and occasionally I think, 'Oh, for God's sake, shut up.'

I've never really worked out this thought, and I don't know if I'm really conscious of it, but I can see there's an attraction about writing about a period that's over and isn't going to change colour while you look at it.

I don't find it easy to think of good stuff to write about.

I actually went to an Oasis concert. I thought they were a brilliant songwriting band.

I like pop music. I consider rock 'n' roll to be a branch of pop music.

I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you're dead.

My life is sectioned off into hot flushes, pursuits of this or that.

We're actors. We're the opposite of people.

Life in a box is better than no life at all... I expect.

One senses that all the Bolsheviks, even those who ended up as cold-blooded autocrats, had been on a journey from idealism to something else, and didn't notice - to mix periods - when the Rubicon was crossed.

I just happen to know quite a lot of what happened in Czechoslovakia between 1968 and the fall of Communism.

My father was a doctor in Moravia, in the south of the country. There were a number of Jewish doctors in the hospital there, and at a certain point - almost too late, really, but in time - they were all sent overseas by their employer.

I can't remember what my first script was.

The media. It sounds like a convention of spiritualists.

I'm not one of those writers who insist they don't read reviews and don't care much about them. I do read them, and I do care about them, and they're not always what you want them to be in an ideal world.

Life is a gamble, at terrible odds - if it was a bet you wouldn't take it.

Despite the digital age, there is a very large number of venues and spaces that are looking for plays, and many of them are looking for new plays.

Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

I barely remembered my father; I'm confused between genuine memory and the few photographs that survived.

Theatre probably originated without texts, but by the time we get to the classical Greek period, theatre has become text-based.

I once did a radio program with a famous materialist, that is to say a scientist who believed that absolutely everything was physical and that all emotions were reductive to little electrical impulses in your neurons. And I found that I didn't believe that. But what the emotions really are, I don't have an alternative theory.

The truth of the matter is that I used to be much more - as it were - shy. Now I don't care!

I write scenes - often quite long scenes - mainly because I still get seduced into writing six lines where one and a half will do.

I think probably I've been influenced by Chekhov and Walt Disney, if you see what I mean.

My brain cells are dying in their trillions.

I flinch when I see my name in the newspapers.

In my mind, I always knew what my father looked like.

I read for interest and enjoyment, and when I cease to enjoy it I stop.

When I was in my teens, I was very, very keen on being the author of a book. What the book was was secondary. I wanted it to be in hardback. I didn't care how thick or thin it was, and I didn't actually care what it was about.

I don't do interviews under false pretenses.

Theater in New York is nearer to the street. In London, you have to go deep into the building, usually, to reach the place where theater happens. On Broadway, only the fire doors separate you from the sidewalk, and you're lucky if the sound of a police car doesn't rip the envelope twice a night.

Rewriting isn't just about dialogue; it's the order of the scenes, how you finish a scene, how you get into a scene.

Theater is still a medium which attracts young writers. You'd think that it would be all over by now, with television and film. But it's not.

If I hadn't left Czechoslovakia, I would have been dead.

If you don't know what is being said, the rest of the actor's work is wasted.

It is easily and often overlooked that when Thomas Jefferson asserted that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were inalienable human rights, he did so on the ground that they had been endowed by God, our Creator.

I'm good at being funny.

I seem to be failing in my intention to be as boring as I possibly can be for self-protection.

Pink Floyd are one of a handful of bands I've listened to a lot and whose concerts I've been to. I love the experience. I don't dance; I just jig up and down like everybody else.

Like many people, I only knew of Ford Madox Ford through a book called 'The Good Soldier,' which is everybody's favorite Ford Madox Ford if they have one, but I came to read 'Parade's End' when it was suggested via Damien Timmer of Mammoth Screen.

I think journalism is important.

Directors sometimes have good ideas that I wished I'd had, not on rewriting but simply on staging.

I don't believe that we evolved moral psychology; it just doesn't seem plausible to me as a biological phenomenon.

Honesty is seldom ingratiating and often discomfiting.

It is better to be quotable than to be honest.