With over sixty plays written and premièred at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough before going on to play in the West End or the Royal National Theatre, London, or Broadway, Alan Ayckbourn’s expertise in writing and directing plays is unsurpassed. Here in 'The crafty art of playmaking', he shares all his tricks of the trade. From helpful hints on writing (Where do you start? How do you continue? What is comedy and how do you write it? What is tragedy and how does it work?), to tips on directing (working with actors and technicians, when to listen to the other experts, how to cope with rehearsals), the book provides a complete primer for the tyro and a refresher for the more experienced. Written in an accessible and highly entertaining style, with anecdotes galore to illustrate the how, when, where and why, it’s worth the cover price for the jokes alone.