The only source material listed in the playbill was Arnold Bennett's novel Buried Alive. Bennett adapted his novel as a play titled The Great Adventure, and elements of the play may have been used. Early announcements of the musical mentioned only the play. In addition, elements of Nunnally Johnson's screenplay for the film Holy Matrimony, based on Bennet's novel, may have been used. Johnson was credited as book writer when the show opened out of town. He requested that his name be removed from the credits, but much of his work remained in the show.