'Now in paperback, the hugely acclaimed, authorised biography of Britain''s most popular playwright. Alan Ayckbourn is Britain''s most popular playwright and its most private. He has won numerous awards for his plays and has worked with some of theatre''s most celebrated names, yet he spends most of his time away from the limelight in a Yorkshire seaside town not writing at all but running a small repertory theatre. This is a portrait of a man who - from Relatively Speaking in 1965 to his double play House and Garden at the National Theatre in 2000 - has chronicled human behaviour, our aspirations and insecurities, while shaping the theatrical experience of millions. ''Mr Allen''s book makes me want to start reading the entire Ayckbourn canon over again.splendid stuff'' Hugh Leonard, Sunday Independent Paul Allen has come up with a wise, well-informed book that not only persuades us of Ayckbourn''s genius but also helps to explain this complex, driven man'' Michael Billington, Country Life '' Lucid, meticulously researched . this impressively detailed account benefits from Paul Allen''s rich inside knowledge of theatre'' Terry Eagleton, Times Literary Supplement '' Thorough and enjoyable'' Christopher Hirst, Independent'