Dreams From A Summer House: Behind The ScenesBehind The Scenes offers a glimpse at some rarely known facts regarding the writing of Alan Ayckbourn's plays with material drawn from the Ayckbourn Archive at the University Of York and the playwright's personal archive.
Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.
- Alan Ayckbourn's initial concept for Dreams From A Summer House was a lot more complex than the play which was eventually written. A detailed plot synopsis exists in the Ayckbourn Archive at the University Of York for the original concept, which features a writer struggling to complete his Great Unfinished Novel whilst a former collaborator wants them to revive a musical version of Beauty And The Beast. The worlds of the noir novel and the musical come to life and merge as well as crossing over into reality, although the reasons for the characters singing are far less defined nor as integral to the plot as the actual play. The idea would be simplified for the final play with the noir novel element dropped and the emphasis put on the clash of suburbia and fantasy and the importance of music as a means of communication.
- The original production featured real grass laid on stage at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round as, in 1992, it was deemed cheaper to lay real turf than to buy or hire astro-turf or the equivalent artificial grass. The only drawback was the grass had to be tended and lit to keep it healthy for the duration of the play and it was not unknown for bugs and insects to make guest appearances on stage!