Drowning On Dry Land: Behind The Scenes

Behind 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.
  • Drowning On Dry Land was not the original title for this play. The play had been partially inspired by Piers Morgan's documentary series The Importance Of Being Famous and Alan was struck by a particular moment with "a girl on TV jumping up and down, waving her arms and asking, 'am I famous yet?'" Inspired by this, the play was initially called Am I Famous Yet?
  • The actual title of the play is a quote from an old English proverb discovered by Alan: "Browsing through one of my dictionaries of quotations, I came across an old English proverb: 'It is folly to drown on dry land.' Heaven knows how old or English it is, but I liked it, especially since I had chosen to set the play in a folly. Not that there's anything symbolic in that, of course. Heaven forbid."
  • Drowning On Dry Land is set in a folly in the grounds of Charlie's house. In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for its appearance with no apparent practical use - despite its apparent and often extravagant appearance. In the play, Charlie's folly is a tower which has been built with apparently no way to access the top of the building, instead featuring a staircase which whilst giving the appearance of going up or down, actually only leads to one of the two entrances at the base of the folly.
Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.