The Boy Who Fell Into A Book: 10 Facts

Facts offer an at a glance guide to some of the key information relating to Alan Ayckbourn's plays.
  • The Boy Who Fell Into A Book is Alan Ayckbourn's 53rd play.
  • The world premiere was held at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, on 4 December 1998.
  • The London premiere was held at Soho Theatre on 18 July, 2012.
  • The Boy Who Fell Into A Book was written to celebrate the start of the National Year Of Reading which ran from September 1998.
  • The play features only one 'real' book - Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson - with all the other books inspired by books in different genres (fairy tales, detective thrillers, chess manuals, ghost stories etc).
  • It is one of his 'family' plays; these plays are written with a family audience in mind, but are considered by the playwright to be part of his full-length play canon and as significant in his canon as any of the other plays. Alan Ayckbourn's first family play is considered to be Mr A's Amazing Maze Plays in 1988.
  • The Boy Who Fell Into A Book is one of several plays written by Alan Ayckbourn that moves through several different genres of writing. Other genre-swapping plays include My Very Own Story and Improbable Fiction.
  • In the original production, the role of Kevin was played by the actress Charlie Hayes. So convincing was she as a boy - and helped by her name - the reviewer for The Stage newspaper praised 'him' for his acting and obviously believed Charlie was male!
  • The family plays are frequently thematically linked to one of Alan Ayckbourn's 'adult' plays. The Boy Fell Into A Book is the first of Ayckbourn family plays to inspire one of his 'adult' plays with Improbable Fiction inspired and associated with the play.
  • The Boy Who Fell Into A Book has also been adapted into a musical with book & lyrics by Paul James and music by Cathy Shostak and Eric Angus. It premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in summer 2014 (more details about the musical can be found here).
Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without the permission of the copyright holder.