I think there is no world without theatre.
If you engage people on a vital, important level, they will respond
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.
We may seem competent, but by the end of next century there will be new deserts, new ruins.
Our lives are awkward and fragile and we have only one thing to keep us sane: pity, and the man without pity is mad.
As Shakespeare himself knew, the peace, the reconciliation that he created on the stage would not last an hour on the street.
Humanity's become a product and when humanity is a product, you get Auschwitz and you get Chair.
In the end I think theatre has only one subject: justice
It's politely assumed that democracy is a means of containing and restraining violence. But violence comes not from genes but from ideas
Art is the expression of the conviction that we can have a rational relationship with the world and each other. It isn't the faith or hope that we can, it is the demonstration that we can.
In the past goodness was always a collective experience. Then goodness became privatised.
I write about violence as naturally as Jane Austen wrote about manners. Violence shapes and obsesses our society, and if we do not stop being violent we have no future.
But we are not in the world to be good but to change it.
Auschwitz is a place in which tragedy cannot occur.
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.
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'm not interested in an imaginary world
The one overall structure in my plays is language
What Shakespeare and the Greeks were able to do was radically question what it meant to be a human being.
What I try to do in a play is put a problem on stage, head-on, without evasion.
At the turn of the century theatre does not have to be prescriptive.
When humanness is lost the radical difference between the bodies in the pit and people walking on the street is lost.
The English sent all their bores abroad, and acquired the Empire as a punishment.
We are still living in the aftershock of Hiroshima, people are still the scars of history.
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