Change begins with understanding and understanding begins by identifying oneself with another person: in a word, empathy. The arts enable us to put ourselves in the minds, eyes, ears and hearts of other human beings.
We can alleviate physical pain, but mental pain - grief, despair, depression, dementia - is less accessible to treatment. It's connected to who we are - our personality, our character, our soul, if you like.
I think the collision between the First and Third world is going to become more and more conspicuous. It's the big cliff that we've all got to climb.
I believe there is a relationship between having an interest in the arts and the behaviour of society as a whole. Some politicians find it difficult that the arts is a weapon of happiness... Politics is often about deprivation rather than the opening up of ideas and nourishing creative endeavour.
The desire to share is not a vague, windy sentiment, not when you see the massive rise in live concerts in response to the phenomenon of downloading music... People want to get rid of the headphones and be part of a shared experience.
Waiters are like actors waiting in the wings, bantering whenever we passed each other on the restaurant floor, shouting at each other backstage in the kitchen and winking and corpsing above the heads of our audience, the unsuspecting customers.
I sort of feel that climate change will be solved by science. I just feel instinctively that we will find a way of saving ourselves. But I am less confident that we won't destroy ourselves in other ways.
Maybe we slip so easily into blaming our parents - you're perpetually a child and they're perpetually a parent and you long to balance the equation, but it can only be balanced posthumously.
There is in our society a gulf opening up, a kind of cultural apartheid, between those who are brought up to feel our national culture is theirs, to take ownership of it, and enjoy the privileges of that, and those who are completely disfranchised, those - for example - who will never be taken to the theatre to see Shakespeare.
Art is about the 'I' in life not the 'we', about private life rather than public. A public life that doesn't acknowledge the private is a life not worth having.
All good actors are very bright. You can't be stupid and a good actor. You may be inarticulate, you may not be highly educated, but all good actors are quick-witted, some of them dazzlingly so. All you do is guide them.
I have a worm's eye view and a bird's eye view simultaneously and it's immensely helpful to understand what is happening on the shop floor when you are harnessing many talents and telling an intimate story on a large scale.
I'm the classic example of alienation: I grew up in a middle-class household without art or books. I was going to be a chemical engineer until I went to the theatre for the first time at 16 and was blown away by it.
I'm inclined to think that, because it's such an awful life, that politicians do go into it for the best reasons. I mean, some may love the sound of their own voice. But it's such a wearying life, you've got to be impelled by some desire to leave the world a better place than when you came into it.
I'm wary of artistic directors who say, 'Here is my vision', because it's empirical. Basically it's about who you work with and what plays you put on; the vision comes out of that.
I've always believed that you write to discover what you think. On most subjects, if I'm asked what do I think about them, I'd say I don't know, I'll have to write them down.
I'm never comfortable at theatre opening nights. If it's my own production I'm too wound up to be able to enjoy the performance and too wary to enjoy the event as a social occasion.
Theatre is castigated for wallowing in self-indulgence, but it's curiously unsentimental. You simply have to move on. Everything passes. Something in me likes that.