We are still living in the aftershock of Hiroshima, people are still the scars of history.
The human mind is a dramatic structure in itself and our society is absolutely saturated with drama.
I think there is no world without theatre.
We may seem competent, but by the end of next century there will be new deserts, new ruins.
Now, drama is quite useful at helping us to understand what our position is and, conversely, we might then understand why our theatre is being destroyed.
When humanness is lost the radical difference between the bodies in the pit and people walking on the street is lost.
But we are not in the world to be good but to change it.
Auschwitz is a place in which tragedy cannot occur.
It’s insulting to ask a dramatist what his view of his play is. I have no opinion.
The English sent all their bores abroad, and acquired the Empire as a punishment.
All you now do is pursue your private objectives within society. Instead of us being a community, everybody is asked to seek their own personal ends. It’s called competition. And competition is antagonism.
Art is the close scrutiny of reality and therefore I put on the stage only those things that I know happen in our society.
At the turn of the century theatre does not have to be prescriptive.
Fifteen years ago I walked out of a production of one of my plays at the RSC because I decided it was a waste of time.
First there was the theatre of people and animals, then of people and the devil. Now we need the theatre of people and people.
Humanity’s become a product and when humanity is a product, you get Auschwitz and you get Chair.
I don’t think it’s the job of theatre at the moment to provide political propaganda; that would be simplistic. We have to explore our situation further before we will understand it.
I write plays not to make money, but to stop myself from going mad. Because it’s my way of making the world rational to me.
I’m interested in the real world.
I’m not interested in an imaginary world.
If you engage people on a vital, important level, they will respond.
In the end I think theatre has only one subject: justice.
In the past goodness was always a collective experience. Then goodness became privatised.
It seems to me that we are profoundly ignorant of ourselves.
It’s politely assumed that democracy is a means of containing and restraining violence. But violence comes not from genes but from ideas.
It’s wonderful to be able to sit down and write a play.
Our unconscious is not more animal than our conscious, it is often even more human.
Religion enabled society to organise itself to debate goodness, just as Greek drama had once done.
Shakespeare has no answers for us at all.
The Greeks said very, very extreme things in their tragedies.
The one overall structure in my plays is language.
The theatre, our theatre, comes from the Greeks.
The truth has got to appear plausible on the stage.
Violence is hidden within democratic structures because they are not radically democratic – Western democracy is merely a domestic convenience of consumerism.
Violence Hidden Consumerism Violence is never a solution in my plays, just as ultimately violence is never a solution in human affairs.
What I try to do in a play is put a problem on stage, head-on, without evasion.
What Shakespeare and the Greeks were able to do was radically question what it meant to be a human being.
Whatever the economy needs to maintain itself, the government will do it.
You have to go to the ultimate situation in drama.
You have to learn the language of Hamlet.