The Slab Boys is entirely set in the slab room of A.F. Stobo Carpet Manufacturers. The factory is in Elderslie, an industrial suburb of Paisley in the West of Scotland.

The fact that the action is all contained in one space reflects the limited circumstances and prospects of the Slab Boys - a situation that Phil rebels against.

The unchanging set gives the audience a realistic and gritty insight into the everyday working life of the Slab Boys.

The play takes place over the morning and afternoon of a Friday in the winter of 1957. At the time, Britain was still enjoying the liberation of the post-war era. The 1950s saw an increase in social mobility, Americanisation and growth of youth subcultures.