Dreams From A Summer House: Facts

Key facts relating to Alan Ayckbourn's Dreams From A Summer House.
  • Dreams From A Summer House is Alan Ayckbourn's 45th play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, Scarborough, on 26 August, 1992.
  • It was written with the composer John Pattison, who was the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round's Musical Director and who Alan Ayckbourn also worked with on the musical A Word From Our Sponsor.
  • As conceived, the play was far more complex and darker in tone, intermingling not just the characters of Beauty And The Beast but also a noir novel being written by a frustrated writer.
  • The play was originally titled Songs From A Tree House for a short while before Alan changed it; tickets for the original production featured the earlier title.
  • It is Alan Ayckbourn's fourth full length musical.
  • The world premiere production marked the first time the actress Janie Dee would work with Alan Ayckbourn. She would go on to huge success on stage and screen and would work several more times with Alan Ayckbourn; most notably in Comic Potential for which she won numerous awards including an Olivier.
  • Dreams From A Summer House is one of two Ayckbourn plays in which fantasy characters cross over into suburban reality. The other is Awaking Beauty, another musical but written with the composer Denis King.
  • It is one of several plays of Alan Ayckbourn which can be broadly said to be part of the fantasy genre (as opposed to, for example, the science fiction or supernatural genres). Other plays include The Champion Of Paribanou, Orvin - Champion of Champions and Awaking Beauty.
  • Much of the music by John Pattison offered subtle nods to other musicals, genres and composers. This was particularly noted by many of the critics who spotted a huge variety of apparent references and influences (see Reviews).
  • An original cast recording of the musical was recorded and made available commercially through the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Unfortunately it was only available for the duration of the production and the audio-cassette is now quite a rare Ayckbourn collectible.
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