Snake In The Grass: Frequently Asked Questions

Alan Ayckbourn's Archivist Simon Murgatroyd's answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Alan Ayckbourn's Snake In The Grass. If you have a question about this or any other of Alan Ayckbourn's plays, you can contact the website via the Contact Us page.

Is Snake In The Grass part of a trilogy of plays alongside Haunting Julia and Life & Beth and, if so, is this trilogy called Things That Go Bump?
No. Snake In The Grass is not part of a trilogy of supernatural plays and there is no such thing as the Things That Go Bump trilogy.
To elaborate, Alan Ayckbourn has not written a trilogy called
Things That Go Bump, nor has he ever referred to these plays as a trilogy nor used the title Things That Go Bump for the plays himself.
The confusion stems from the fact that when the three plays were produced together at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in 2008, they were promoted under the season title of
Things That Go Bump. This was a marketing campaign created specifically for this season and the title has never since been used officially in association with the three plays.
However, certain unreliable media reports and websites - most notably Wikipedia - inaccurately referred to the plays as the
Things That Go Bump trilogy leading to the - incorrect - suggestion that these three plays formed a trilogy such as The Norman Conquests or Damsels In Distress.
While the three plays share similar themes (the supernatural, parents' relationship to their children) and
Life & Beth was written initially with the cast requirements of Haunting Julia and Snake In The Grass in mind, these three plays are not considered to be an actual trilogy. Rather they are three thematically connected plays which can be performed with the same company.
According to the playwright himself - any website or article which refers to
Haunting Julia, Snake In The Grass and Life & Beth as the Things That Go Bump trilogy or just a trilogy is inaccurate and ill-researched.

Does Miriam see he father's ghost rocking the chair at the climax?
That is for the audience to decide as, obviously, only Miriam sees what is rocking the chair. As far as Alan Ayckbourn is concerned, it can be interpreted as either a physical manifestation of Miriam's father haunting her or is a product of Miriam's disturbed mind. She is a haunted character whether literally or metaphorically and both interpretations are valid. Purely from this author's point of view, I like to think it's a real haunting and the ghost of Miriam's father is the cause of her fear.

All research for this page by Simon Murgatroyd.