This Is Where We Came In: Archive

One of the most interesting pieces in archive pertaining to This Is Where We Came In is a piece of correspondence written Alan Ayckbourn, an extract of which is reprinted below. It was written as a response to a teacher following a school trip to see This Is Where We Came In in 1991 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round. The teacher had taken exception to the use of the word ‘slut’ in the play and within the reply, Alan defends his position as well as other relevant and interesting issues.
1 January 1992

Dear _________,

I was really rather startled to get the letter regarding bad language in THIS IS WHERE WE CAME IN.

Until that moment I hadn’t honestly realised there was any.

I am very sensitive to the sort of things I put in my ‘family’ plays and try hard to ensure that the respective merits of good and evil are clearly indicated.

I think you will agree that THIS IS WHERE WE CAME IN was extremely moral. Such so-called language as there was came exclusively from the villains - though I would seriously debate that a word like ‘slut’, a word to be found in all dictionaries, could be termed bad language.

There is a dangerous new philosophy afoot which seems to be preaching, especially to our young, that if we ignore evil it will somehow no longer exist. Or, at the very least, will mysteriously go away.

I’ve grown to suspect that this attitude might well be being fostered or clandestinely encouraged by the very elements in our society in whose best interests it is to see it flourish.

If we accept Good we must also accept Evil. And learn to recognise both, preferably the earlier the better, in order to make our own right choice.

Sorry to preach but as you may gather I do feel strongly and take my work very seriously. I would hate you to go away with the impression that any word good or bad appeared in a play of mine didn’t get there without a great deal of thought and consideration.
Copyright: Alan Ayckbourn. Please don not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.