Salisbury Playhouse kicks off its Autumn season with Alan Ayckbourn's comedy Drowning on Dry Land, which runs from Thursday September 4 to Saturday September 27 and is directed by Sarah Esdaile.

Alan Ayckbourn's contemporary satire pokes fun at the cult celebrity and the devastating effect it can have as it comes and goes.

Charlie is an ordinary man who isn't particularly talented at anything but being famous.

Charlie and his wife are good at being the celebrity couple until Mr Chortles, the clown employed to entertain at the birthday party for Charlie's son, gets spellbound.

Charlie's world begins to spiral out of control.

Alan Ayckbourn is one of Britain's most popular and prolific playwrights, having written more than 70plays, including Absurd Person Singular (recently revived in the West End), Absent Friends and House and Garden (both seen here at the Playhouse in recent years).

Stuart Laing (Rob Minter in BBC TV's EastEnders) plays Charlie.

The cast also includes Polly Maberly (Dr Lucy Klein in ITV's The Royal and also currently appearing in ITV's Harley Street) and Hannah Watkins (Be My Baby, Salisbury Playhouse).

Director Sarah Esdaile's recent work includes Kafta's Dick at Watford Palace Theatre and The Grouch at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Design is by Francis O'Connor whose work includes Peter Gynt at the Royal National Theatre and the critically acclaimed production of Shadowlands at Salisbury Playhouse.

Lighting design is by Philip Gladwell, with music by Simon Slater.