After seeing the film version of the eponymous work by American author Tracy Letts, Ahlbom became fascinated by the book, the impotence and defencelessness of the two protagonists, and the ultimate escape they choose. Ahlbom explores the overlap between love and madness, and the other options they offer. His enquiry into insanity is central to play. Is Peter in fact mad? And is his submission to his madness not actually an attempt to find happiness, to survive, and to avoid having to face the harsh realities of life.
Tracy Letts (b. 1965) became known in the Netherlands through a stage production of Augustus: Oklahoma by Utrechtse Spelen theatre company. Letts has won a variety of American prestigious stage awards including a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. The film version of the 1996 novel Bug was released in 2006, winning the International Federation of Film Critics award.