Leave me a message

Previous Guestbook Entries
2005 - 2011

CatLeave me a message now...

As a result of this guestbook, over the last couple of years, I have been lucky enough to receive messages from all over the world. 

This has brightened up my life no end! 

When what is often a fairly hard grind at the desk turns into something that gives people pleasure performing and watching, the process doesn’t seem quite as lonely.

There are 401 guestbook entries in 17 pages and you are on page number 2
pages>> 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17

 

Comments by Greer Lacey

 

 


How delighted was I to recieve your book with your signiture with it. I work with deaf children on Wirral and love your books and so do the kids. We went to Liverpool years ago to see the Selfish Shellfish. Which again the kids loved. I will use your information sheet and signiture as it will help bring the book alive and real. Thanks again
Dear Greer,

Thank you for your message.

So pleased to hear that you and the children enjoy my books!

Also extremely pleased that you remember THE SELFISH SHELLFISH. This play has all sorts of happy memories. It was originally commissioned by the Redgrave Theatre, Farnham. Later, Whirligig Theatre, my own company, toured it, and I was able to direct it for the first time. The environmental theme certainly was topical - the sad thing is, oil pollution is STILL topical. Maybe we should try to revive the play.

Some people think I set out to write a crusading play about the environment. I have to be honest and admit that the idea for the play came from me thinking about how visually exciting it would be to have a character wear a cloak that covered the entire stage! Picturing such an image in my mind, I thought of an oil slick, with threatening, undulating black stuff taking over the sea. From that image came the play.

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to write.

Best wishes.

David

 

Great Britain

 


Comments by Danielle Burn

 

 


Dear David Wood!
I am writing in hope for some advice. I have recently graduated from university studying drama. I am an actress, director, facilitator and writer from Newcastle who's main passion lies in childrens theatre. I was wondering whether you have any advice of writing, directing and acting within the industry? I really admire the work you do, having looked through your website and seeing adaptations of classics such as the witches (I have often for audition pieces re wrote and performed roald dahl stories).
I hope you can help,
Many thanks and good luck with future productions.
Danielle Burn.
Dear Danielle,

Thank you for your message.

Congratulations on your graduation. The first thing I can suggest is that, if you haven't read it already, you look at my book THEATRE FOR CHILDREN: GUIDE TO WRITING, ADAPTING, DIRECTING AND ACTING (Faber). It covers everything you have asked about in your message!

On a general note, I suggest you go and see as much children's theatre as you can, and find out about all the different companies, both small and large, both commercial and subsidised, both touring and in-house, those that work in theatres and those that work in schools, those that work in the open air. You should consider joining TYA UK, the British branch of ASSITEJ, the international children's theatre organisation. If you look on their website, you can probably find details of lots of companies.

You also need to have a good knowledge of the plays and adaptations which are available. Look at publishers' lists - Samuel French, Nick Hern, Oberon and others.

In other words, study the market.

Try to get to know some of the education officers at some of the touring theatres, as well as building based theatres like Unicorn and Polka.

If you live in Newcastle, go to Seven Stories. You could offer your services as a storyteller or doing some other kind of temporary work, or even suggest you put on a small scale play in the big room upstairs.

Instigate. Have ideas and try to get things off the ground. Certainly never wait for the phone to ring or for somebody to ask you to do something! Working in children's theatre means very often 'doing it yourself', by which I mean you have an idea, write it and direct it yourself!

Lots of luck! If you would like a copy of my book, you can order it at any bookshop, or you can go on line and buy it via Amazon, or, slightly cheaper, via my website!

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Jan Shuman

 

 


Dear Mr. Wood:
I just had the great honor and pleasure of seeing you in "If...." and you were and are amazing! Your subtlety and warmth made your character believable and heroic. I hope you come to America sometime soon. I'm in Chicago and will fly anywhere in America to see you! I would love to take my young nephews to see you, too. My heartfelt wishes for much continued success in all you pursue and may all of your wishes and dreams come true. Please cross the pond SOON! I can't wait to purchase your books! With much gratitude, respect, and admiration, your newest fan, Jan Shuman
Dear Jan,

Thank you for your message.

So pleased that you enjoyed IF...., which was, as you can imagine, an extraordinary experience. Sobering to realise we filmed it nearly 45 years ago!

Chicago is one of my favourite cities, but I don't plan to be there soon.

All good wishes.

David

 

United States

 


Comments by joanna

 

 


Hi,
We came to see The Tiger who came for Tea with my 5 year old twins and 18 month old little boy and they loved it, especially the 18 month old who cried when the tiger said goodbye!! Ever since then we have had to watch the clip of the show on the computer, I was wondering if there would be a dvd of the show and waht was comin up next for Birmingham? Thanks
Dear Joanna,

Thank you for your message.

I was delighted to hear that your family enjoyed THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA. Writing it and directing it was really a labour of love - my own daughters loved the book! And still do.

Unfortunately the producers of the show have not been granted the rights to release a dvd, which is a sadness for all of us. I had also hoped we could release a cd of the songs, but this possibility has been denied us too.

Harper Collins, who publish the book, control the rights on Judith Kerr's behalf. Maybe you could write to them!

I personally don't have info on what future productions may be at Birmingham Town Hall. But I will pass our exchange to the producers of TIGER, in case they have something else coming up.

All good wishes, and thank you for taking the trouble to write.

Yours, David.

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Paul Darrow

 

 


Blimy I never expected to find this webpage! For some reason that escapes me completely I typed in William the Conker from a memory of him from Thirty years ago on a school visit to Newark playhouse.

Thanks for all the fun
Dear Paul,

Many thanks for your message.

Yes, indeed, you went to see NUTCRACKER SWEET, presented by Whirligig Theatre, at the Palace Theatre, Newark in 1980!

I had written the play a few years before, but this was the first time that I had directed it. It featured a lot of 'nut' characters - Kernel Walnut, Gypsy Brazil, Hazelnut, Old Ma Coconut etc., all of whom worked in a Nutty May Fair. As did the character you remembered, William the Conker! The villain of the piece was Professor Jelly Bon Bon, the Chocolate Squirter, who was a confectioner searching for quality nuts to squirt with chocolate and include in his latest collection!

The play provoked some of the loudest and most passionate audience participation ever. The audience were threatened with being squirted with chocolate, and, led by the nuts, managed to fool the Chocolate Squirter, who was eventually himself squirted with chocolate ...

Happy days! Glad you remember them a little!

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by kyndall

 

 


Dear Mr.Wood
I am kyndall. I go to Evans Elementary School.My class just finished James and the jiant peach.I went to see the play with my grandma and I loved it.I thought you did a great job on the play.
Dear Kyndall,

Thank you for your message.

Delighted to hear that your class worked on JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. And also that you went to see the play with your Grandma. It is very rewarding for me to know that my play is popular in the United States. It is a great story, and every young person deserves to read it and also see it in the theatre! Hopefully you will go to the theatre again, and see some more great stories on stage. And, perhaps you will start acting out some of the plays and stories yourself, at school or with some of your friends.

All good wishes.

David

 

United States

 


Comments by Catherine Waller

 

 


Thank you very much for creating and sending Funny Bunny. It was bought for my 3 year old as an antidote to all the chocolate bunnies at Easter. He had come home from nursery going on about it. We all love it and hope funny bunny can stand up to the rigours of all the magic tricks in the book as well as being shown round our house! Have you thought of including a template or a spare in case the unthinkable happens and funny bunny gets damaged?! With our best wishes for your continued success, Catherine and family
Dear Catherine,

Thank you for your message, and for your positive comments about FUNNY BUNNY'S MAGIC SHOW. Am delighted that your 3 year old - and all of you (!) love the book.

In answer to your question, if you look on the back cover, towards the bottom, you will see a suggestion that if you lose your Bunny, you can trace a new one from the picture on the first page - inside the front cover. I hope this template is satisfactory, should you be unfortunate enough to lose the Bunny!

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Jacob Louis

 

 


I have ready all of your plays and have gone into playwriting because of the influence you have on my life, I have met you only 3 times in several various meetings, camps and visits to your speeches. I am now the Education Director at a local Community Theatre. I am trying very hard to adapt the novel "The Pagemaster" into a playscript but am getting blocked. I guess I needed to hear from you that I am not crazy for trying to adapt such a grand show in the first place. I see noone else has published a copy. I don't even know the first thing about getting published. Some advice from you would be simply amazing. Thank you for your time.
Jacob Louis

Dear Jacob,

Thank you for your message. As far as I remember THE PAGEMASTER is about a frightened boy who finds himself in a library, where exposure to literature conquers his fears. It sounds like a good idea to adapt the novel. Of course, if you put the play on, and people pay to come and see it, you risk action from the author or his agent, unless you have actually got the rights! But it may well be possible to adapt it without the necessary rights, as long as you are doing it within your Community Theatre.

It is probably premature to think about publication. Write it and get it on the stage first! Then make sure you have the rights before you approach any play publishers.

There is a chapter about adaptation in my book, THEATRE FOR CHILDREN: GUIDE TO WRITING, ADAPTING, DIRECTING AND ACTING, which is published in the United States by Ivan Dee. You might find this useful.

Meanwhile, all good fortune for your adaptation and your Education work.

Best,

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Darrel C. Karl

 

 


Dear Mr. Wood:

I run a website devoted to compiling discographies of musicals. I'm currently working on an update that would include your musical THE IDEAL GNOME EXPEDITION (aka CHISH 'N' FIPS), and I would appreciate if you could verify some information about the show for me.

Until stumbling across your website, I was only aware of two recordings of songs from the stage musical:

Sitting Fishing:
The David Wood Songbook, DW Records DW001 (David Wood and the Allfarthing School Choir)

Use Your Eyes And Ears:
****, DW Records DWS004 (David Wood and the Allfarthing School Choir)

This information came from Kurt Gaenzl's The British Musical Theatre Vol. II. (1) Do you know the title of the record on which "Use Your Eyes And Ears" is from? (2) What were the titles of the other songs used in the stage version?

From your website, I see that your musical subsequently spawned a tv series and that a soundtrack of CHISH 'N" FIPS was released that includes "Sitting Fishing" and "Use Your Eyes And Ears." (3) Who sings those two songs on the cassette? (4) What is the label and number for the cassette? (5) To extent that other songs on the soundtrack were also performed in the stage version, who performs those songs on the cassette? (I don't need that information for songs specifically written for the tv version.)

I appreciate whatever information that you might be able to provide on this subject.

Regards,

Darrel C. Karl
Keeping Score: http://mysite.verizon.net/darrelkarl/index.html
Dear Darrel,

Thanks for your message and for your interest in THE IDEAL GNOME EXPEDITION.

USE YOUR EYES AND EARS is on a single 45 rpm recording I made for sale in theatres. On side one is the song WHEN WILL WE LEARN, from my musical play, THE SELFISH SHELLFISH. On side two are two songs, USE YOUR EYES AND EARS and also TILL TODAY BECOMES TOMORROW, from my musical play THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN ...

The play, THE IDEAL GNOME EXPEDITION is published by Samuel French Ltd. The songs in Act 1 are THE CODE OF THE GNOMES, A DUCK CALLED-?, HOLIDAY ISLAND, THIS IS MY PATCH, USE YOUR EYES AND EARS, A REAL ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND ADVENTURE, HOLIDAY ISLAND (Reprise). In Act 2 the songs are STUCK DUCK, I'M WACKER!, SITTING FISHING, USE YOUR EYES AND EARS (Reprise), HOLIDAY ISLAND (Reprise), BACK HOME, THE CODE OF THE GNOMES (Reprise).

The play was first performed in 1980, but several years later, after the television series, CHISH 'N' FIPS had been broadcast, the play was revived on tour by Whirligig Theatre. I added a song from the television series, BIG ONES ARE YOU LISTENING? to the score of the stage play for this tour.

The LP record/cassette featuring the songs from CHISH 'N' FIPS, the television series, was recorded by First Night Records. I will send you a separate e-mail in which I will offer to send you a copy of the cassette, which has all the information you need. Having said that, some of the tracks are sung by two session singers, rather than the cast of the television series. I do not know their names! Also, on one track, I sang for one of the Gnomes! Most of the songs were recorded in Birmingham, in the ATV studios. Some tracks were recorded in London later on. When you receive the cassette you will see exactly which songs were used in the television series, some of which were not taken directly from the stage production.

All good wishes.

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Mark Ewing

 

 


David, I heard you on Midweek on Radio 4 this morning and was reminded of how much you were on our screens in the 1970's. If...was a highlight, a haunting, exciting, sexy film, but my personal memory is you dancing to death on The New Avengers. TV at its original, eccentric best. Congratulations on your many achievements.
Dear Mark,

Thank you for your message.

It is always pleasing that people remember things from several decades ago! IF.... was an amazing experience for me and opened up lots of doors, particularly in television. TAP DANCING in THE NEW AVENGERS was indeed a highlight, too! Having to fight with Joanna Lumley on the stage of Wimbledon Theatre, and then falling backwards into the orchestra pit was a lovely way to spend the day! My audition is worth recalling. The director thought I had done real tap dancing in the musical JEEVES, but mistook me for another Wood, Terry Wood. He asked to speak to me. I was on holiday in Cornwall and there was no phone. So I spoke to him from a telephone box and, at his request, dangled the receiver down towards my feet and did a qucik shuffle hop, using the only step I knew! Luckily it was enough to secure the role. It was also a nice surprise to find that the aforementioned Terry Wood was also in the cast, playing a baddie! Happy days.

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by GILES PHIBBS

 

 


I was amused and delighted to hear you mention 'Hijack over Hygenia' on BBC4 today.
I was in the original Worcester production, but have quite forgotten what I played, though I remember it was a lot of fun!
Best wishes -
Dear Giles,

Thank you for your message.

Delighted to hear from you after all these years! I can tell you that you played King Spring in the premiere of HIJACK OVER HYGENIA. Your name is in the credits listed in the Samuel French edition! I was fond of the play, because the audience participation seemed to be fun and to work well, particularly when the audience had to put spots on their faces to pretend they had measles. Over the years, there have been quite a lot of amateur productions of the play, but it has never been seen professionally since Worcester! Some years ago I was invited to Brussels to see a production put on by a dramatic society run by people who worked in the EEC offices. I was glad to see that the play still worked well.

I hope you are well and as busy as you would like to be. I wonder what you are up to now!

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Martin Bishop

 

 


Good Morning David
I listened to Radio 4 Midweek and was intrigued to learn that YOU are the author of several books I used to read my son, William. he loved "The Tiger who came to Tea" and "James and the giant Peach" I read them over and over again, the illustrator was great too. Do you have any books suitable for a 13 year old (William)?
In a world of computer games and the Internet it is good to know there are people like yourself who value the importance of good old fashioned story-telling!
With kind regards
Martin & William
Dear Martin and William,

Thank you for your message. I'm afraid I didn't write the book, THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA. I wish I had! I was delighted, however, to write the stage adaptation of the book, which is about to go on tour again, and will play in the West End at the Vaudeville Theatre for a summer season.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH was, of course, written by the great Roald Dahl. Again, I did the stage adaptation.

Sorry, but I don't think I have written any books suitable for a 13 year old. Most of my books, as opposed to plays, are for younger children. You can find details about them on the website.

You are right when you say that I value the importance of good story-telling. We all need stories, both young and old, and one of the sad things about modern family life is the demise of the bedtime story! By the sound of it, William has been lucky in that he has indeed had stories read to him!

Thank you for writing.

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Tracey

 

 


Hello Mr Wood
I was wondering if you may be able to help me out with one of the scenes in If..My daughter loves the film as much as I do but we're both puzzled
as to why the chaplain emerges from a drawer in one scene and would love it if you would enlighten us. Warmest Wishes, Tracey



Dear Tracey,

Many thanks for your interesting message.

The great thing about IF.... is that it can be viewed in many ways and on many levels. Several books and chapters in books have been devoted to it.

The answer to your question lies partly in the fact that Lindsay Andersonwas not making a film just with a story about public school life. There were, as you know, all sorts of political implications too. He was looking at a school as a microcosm of British society.

But he was also attempting to create a poetic film which would not always be totally naturalistic. The 'chaplain in the drawer' scene is a case in point. It is surreal. I think it makes the audience wonder if, in fact,the shooting of the chaplain ever took place. Is it all imaginary? Was it wishful thinking? And, of course, the ending of the film could also be viewed as surreal. Anderson is probably not really indicating a massacre atthe school, rather seeing it as a kind of fable, a fairytale.

In NEVER APOLOGISE, the collected writings of Anderson, published by Plexus, Anderson says, 'There were other scenes, too, which were called surreal, such as the scene with the chaplain in the drawer. I remember Harold Pintertelling me that he liked IF.... very much but thought I'd made one big mistake by putting the chaplain in the drawer. I said, 'Oh, I'm sorry,' but I thought he was wrong; he's not renowned for his sense of humour, really.

It is interesting that a lot of the headmaster's dialogue in that scene was taken from a book written by an ex-housemaster at Eton. So some of the more idiotic things spoken by the headmaster are real.'

In another book, LINDSAY ANDERSON MAVERICK FILM-MAKER by Eric Hedling, published by Cassell, talks about trying to create a coherent story from the events presented in the plot. Hedler says, 'The symbolism, the irony, or the 'as if' quality produced by the Chaplain being in the locker, makes this more or less impossible, and the viewer is cognitively pressed to question the cinematic experience, before the raising of revolutionary banners, which is evidently what Anderson aimed for:

(This is Anderson, now ...) 'Because the whole point of this use of the poetic is that you should operate suggestively on people so that you let their imagination run free. Then they can get the most surprising thing out of a film. And if they just accustom themselves to looking at films in this way, they'll be imaginatively stimulated, rather than when you tell them how they are to take each moment of the picture'.

Hedling continues, 'Discussing the chaplain in the locker, Anderson told me that: 'After that, anything can happen. It makes the end of the film possible'. The surrealistic development, however, caused some debate among critics, such as, for instance, Pauline Kael and Paul Schrader, both of whom expressed their dislike of this dimension. According to Anderson, the author Harold Pinter got very upset about that moment. He thought it got very out of style, 'And in the 'Saturday Review' Hollis Alpert summarised the surrealistic element by maintaining: 'But somewhere along the line the causality was allowed to lapse, and we are left with a sort of Chinese puzzle.' One person, who, on the other hand, seemed to appreciate this ambiguity very much was the real headmaster of Cheltenham College, David Ashcroft, who had allowed the shooting of a film at his school which could be regarded as a fierce attack on the entire school system. Ashcroft declared in interviews that the film was not about public schools at all, and could not be, since it was too far removed from 'reality'.'

I hope this makes interesting reading! You have certainly homed in on the one moment in the film which seems to confuse people!

All good wishes to you and your daughter.

David Wood


 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Matt

 

 


Dear David,
I stumbled across your website and just thought I'd say hi. I was one of the children that appeared in the Nottingham Playhouse production of 'There was an old woman' back in the early 80's. It was my one and only experience of the stage, but it must have made an impression as I can still remember some of the songs and the lines!
Kind regards.

Matt


Dear Matt,

Thank you so much for your message. Delighted to hear that you still remember some of the songs from THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN...! The Nottingham Playhouse production was a very enjoyable one, I remember. Maybe we should start a campaign to bring the play back!

All good wishes, and thanks for taking the trouble to write.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Peter Collins

 

 


Hi David. I've just seen Aces High (not the greatest film ever made, but interestingly done) on the telly, and as I often do looked up the IMDB, studied the goofs, trivia and cast entries, and was amazed to see what you've actually been doing with the rest of your life. What an interesting career. I was also interested to read your reminiscences about 'If...', which I've seen many times and always enjoyed. Just out of interest, you obviously worked again with Malcolm McDowell on Aces High... was that simply a coincidence? Have you worked with him on any other occasions? And the IMDB says you're in Colliers Wood. Really? Just up the road from me. Anyway. Good luck.
Dear Peter,

Thanks for your message.

Working with Malcolm the second time was pure coincidence. But it was very enjoyable to meet up with him again. IF .... and ACES HIGH were the only two occasions we worked together.

The version of ACES HIGH that is often shown on television has been cut in several places. I think this is partly to do with length, but also to do with the sensibilities of the possible day time audience. In the actual film, I die a rather horrible death, when my plane is set on fire, and I have to bail out of the aircraft and crash to the ground below!

Also, the ending of the film should be the arrival of some new pilots, looking remarkably young. It is made quite obvious that most of them will last only days rather than weeks ... The version they show on television often ends with the death of Croft (Peter Firth), which is really rather unsatisfactory as an ending, in my view.

Thanks for writing.

All good wishes.

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Paige

 

 


hello david my head teacher marcia king said she played a lot of your plays because at the minute i am mr growser in larry the lamb in toytown and i am very much enjoying it


Dear Paige,

Thank you for your message. I am delighted to hear that you are performing in LARRY THE LAMB IN TOYTOWN. Please send my very best wishes to Marcia King, your head teacher, who was the very first person ever to play Larry the Lamb in my stage adaptation of the stories. Very good she was, too! Please send my best wishes to everybody involved in the play. Have a great time!

Best wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Alan

 

 


Dear David ,
I Have read the twits and the witches and i think there amazing i am saving up so i can get James and the giant peach cant Waite
from alan



Dear Alan,

Thanks for your message. Very pleased to hear that you enjoy Roald Dahl's stories. I'm not sure if you are reading the books or if you are reading my play adaptations, or indeed my Puffin Plays. It doesn't matter really, the main thing is that you keep reading and enjoying! My next Dahl adaptation for the theatre is THE MAGIC FINGER, which I hope will be fun. Have you read that one?

Enjoy JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH.

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Antony Hampton

 

 


Dear Mr Wood,
Chichester festival Theatre celebrates it's 50th birthday next year, staff there are asking for audience memories. The Owl and the Pussycat was the first show I saw there, I can still see the Plum Pudding Flea bouncing across the stage... do you recall what year it was? I was born 1970 and reckon I couldn't have been more than seven. I went on to being a bit of a boy actor in productions at the theatre in the 1980's, I think there may be a little story in this for them.
PS was also a Jumbly in a school production at Littlehampton!
Best wishes, Antony.
Dear Antony,

Many thanks for your message.

THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE... has been cropping up rather a lot recently! Several people have asked for the cassette recording, which I am now thinking of transferring to CD if I can get permission! Delighted to hear that you went to see it at Chichester Festival Theatre. The actual year was probably 1979. Maybe it was earlier, but I seem to remember Peter Dews, the artistic director was only at Chichester for 3 years, between 1978 and 1980.

Do put down your memories for the 50th birthday. I have been asked to do the same. In 1963, the second season, I was an extra. It was an amazing experience, and confirmed unequivocally my desire to work professionally in the theatre.

Also very pleased to hear that you played a Jumbly in a school production! Christopher Biggins was the Head Jumbly in the play when we first produced it in London in 1969! And rumour has it that Ross Kemp started his career at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff,- playing a Jumbly!

Thank you for writing, and all good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by David

 

 


Hi David,
Down here in New Zealand we're thinking of producing a children's theatre piece for Easter and were wondering about FANTASTIC MR FOX and what age group did you think it played to best?
And from this, which Dahl adaptation would you say reached the widest age range?
Thanks,
Adey
Thanks for your message, Adey.

The great thing about Dahl is that he appeals to a very wide age range. Adults are often as interested to come as children, especially those who themselves grew up with Dahl. THE BFG has a wide age range appeal, THE WITCHES may be a bit frightening for small children. JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and FANTASTIC MR FOX are probably the best for young children and everyone else! THE TWITS is fun too. DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD is a bit 'older'!

My advice is to check out locally whether the title FOX or the title JAMES registers a better public reaction and take the 'advice'!

I do hope you go ahead.

All good wishes,

David.

 

New Zealand

 


Comments by Megan

 

 


Hi David,

I am looking to find monologues for Drama School auditions this year and am very interested in playing the role of Hattie in Tom's Midnight Garden.

I was wondering if you might be able to please let me know if there are any suitable monologues in Tom's Midnight Garden that might be used at auditions?

Thanks very much for your help, it is much appreciated.

Megan Rogers

Dear Megan,

Thanks for your message.

Hatty has no speeches long enough to be called a monologue, I'm afraid. She has a nice conversation with Tom about being Princess Hatty, and her letter to the fairies, but it really needs Tom's lines to make it understandable!

Samuel French publish the play. Maybe you could get a copy and see if anything works for you. I tend not to write very long speeches in my plays, because they can hold up the action somewhat! Sorry.

Do hope you find something suitable, and, if you read it, I hope you enjoy the play!

All good wishes,

David.

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Chris

 

 


Hello there,
I have recently read your stage play of Noddy and was enchanted by the whole thing so much so that I'm making enquiries to stage it with one of our local groups.
I am currently waiting to hear back from Samuel French to find out if the show is currently avaliable to perform (obviously I am aware there are several different 'official' Noddy shows currently touring so I'm not sure where that leaves the likes of your wonderful script.
The main stumbling block should to script be avaliable is Noddys car 9as you point out!) and I wondered if you knew of anywhere where such a thing might be avaliable to hire?
Kind regards
Chris Wales
Whitby Am Dram Society/Whitby's Apollo Players
Dear Chris,

Thanks for your message. Delighted you like my NODDY play. I had great fun writing it and directing the first production. There should be no problem with amateur rights. Paul Taylor is the person to talk to at Samuel French.

The car we had built was rather splendid! I don't know what happened to it..... There is a roadworthy vehicle used for processions and carnivals. Chorion, the company who 'own' Noddy might be able to help. Google them to find their contact address and numbers.

Do hope you mount a production. Keep in touch!

All good wishes,

David.

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Steph

 

 


Hello,

I would love to put an amateur production of your adaptation of The Twits.
I was wondering how much the rights cost?

All the best,

Steph
Dear Steph,

Thank you for your enquiry. The amateur rights of THE TWITS are looked after by Samuel French Ltd. Try ringing or emailing Paul Taylor. He will tell you all about licences and fees payable. paul@samuelfrench-london.co.uk or 0207 387 9373. I do hope you put on a production and have a lot of fun with it..

All good wishes,

David.

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Charlotte

 

 


Dear Mr Wood
Firstly I would like to let you know the amazing results of your adaptation of The Tiger Who Came for Tea. My son has learning difficulties following a very premature birth at 22 weeks. The first time he saw the play was when he was 3 at Bromley's Churchill Theatre. At this time he had been out of hospital less than a year and didn't talk and wasn't interested in anything. The next morning he stood at our bedroom door before knocking and miming being the tiger. We were amazed. We then booked to see it again that day, this time Benedict said "Tiger Came Tea" we stood back in amazement as did everyone who saw him over the coming week as gradually he began to recite complete lines from the play. We spent the following months travelling miles going to see the play including Windsor, Torquay, Lees Cliffe Pavillion and by accident at the launch of Kids Week in 2009.
Benedict is now nearly 6 and doing well although still has many hurdles both with his health and learning. Imagine our delight when we have found out that the show is on tour again and is performing in our local theatre in Chatham a few weeks after his birthday.
Not only has your brilliant production given our son the inspiration to communicate, it has given him a deep love and interest of the theatre and not a month goes by when we don't attend a show at least once.
Thank you for your great work, and allowing us to get to know and understand our son.
Kind regards
Charlotte Chaney
Dear Charlotte,

What a wonderful letter! I'm so thrilled that TIGER has had such a beneficial effect on Benedict. I have forwarded your message to the cast and creative team - and the wondrous Judith Kerr, who wrote the book - 87 years young!

We all loved working on TIGER. It was a very happy experience - so happy that our Tiger and our Sophie will be back in the new tour. They will be working with a lovely new Mummy! If you let me know when you are coming, I will ask the cast if they would be willing to say hello to Benedict afterwards - if he wants to be said hello to...!

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to write. I would like to post your letter in my website Guestbook, please.

All good wishes to all the family!

Yours, David.

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Malek

 

 


Hello David,
It was with enormous pleasure that I listened to 'The Owl & The Pussycat went to see' again after so many years. My enjoyment of it has not diminished one iota, although it made me realise that I had been misquoting your text all these years - it's 'galubriousness unlimited'! At least, I think it is.
By pure coincidence, 'If...' was on Film 4 around the time I received the cassettes, so it was great to see you and Ben Aris on screen, presumably not long before the recording of 'The Owl & The Pussycat' was made. And is Jacquline Clarke, who plays the Runcilble Spoon, the same actress who played Edith in the film 'Blithe Spirit'? Or is it a different actress of the same name? Wonderful.
Thank you again, David, for reviving a lovely memory and may the road rise to meet you in all you do.
Best wishes,
Malek.
Dear Malek,

Thanks for your message.

I will very happily send you an e-mail giving details about how to buy a copy of THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE ... cassette. It is always very heart-warming to realise that people remember my work from their childhood. This particular play, of course, was extremely important in my children's theatre career. Co-written with Sheila Ruskin, for the Swan Theatre in Worcester, it was only my second play for children. But it was, without question, the one that made me realise that working in this area was something I wanted to do, and something I thought I possibly would be reasonably good at. It was the reaction of the children in the audience to the play that convinced me. They suspended disbelief so readily, helped the hero and heroine and hindered the Plum Pudding Flea with such enthusiasm, volume and sheer enjoyment, that I became absolutely determined to get the play on in London. Thanks to my friends, this was achieved the following Christmas, 1969, as a result of which the play was published and gained popularity in theatres all over the country. And Philips kindly offered to make the LP record, with a starry cast, a copy of which I will be very happy to send you!

We cannot release it on CD at the moment, because of copyright reasons. But I am hopeful that this might happen before too long.

Meanwhile, I hope you will relive your childhood memories when you receive the cassette!

All good wishes.

David

Hello David,
It was with enormous pleasure that I listened to 'The Owl & The Pussycat went to see' again after so many years. My enjoyment of it has not diminished one iota, although it made me realise that I had been misquoting your text all these years - it's 'galubriousness unlimited'! At least, I think it is.
By pure coincidence, 'If...' was on Film 4 around the time I received the cassettes, so it was great to see you and Ben Aris on screen, presumably not long before the recording of 'The Owl & The Pussycat' was made. And is Jacquline Clarke, who plays the Runcilble Spoon, the same actress who played Edith in the film 'Blithe Spirit'? Or is it a different actress of the same name? Wonderful.
Thank you again, David, for reviving a lovely memory and may the road rise to meet you in all you do.
Best wishes,
Malek.
Dear Marek,

So pleased that the cassette of THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE.... brought back happy memories, and that it gave you pleasure after all these years! Yes, 'galubriousness unlimited' was the Quangle Wangle's phrase!

After IF...., Ben Aris and I also performed in a revue together - THREE TO ONE ON played the Edinburgh Festival and toured and was seen on BBC 2. Later, Ben was in two moe of my children's plays - he was Red Admiral, the butterfly in THE PLOTTERS OF CABBAGE PATCH CORNER and a slightly villainous Zookeeper in FLIBBERTY AND THE PENGUIN. He sadly died, far too young, some years ago. His son, Jonathan Aris, is a fine actor too.

I don't think Jacqueline Clarke could have played Edith in BLITHE SPIRIT - at the age of three!!! But she has just finished a run at the London Palladium in SISTER ACT. She was also in revue with me - JUST THE TICKET. She is a great music hall performer - very funny. She later played The Old Bag for me - the teabag in THE GINGERBREAD MAN. She voices her, too, on the animation series and dvd.

Also on the OWL recording is Christopher Biggins as Head Jumbly. I had brought him to London straight from drama school in Bristol, to create the role on stage.

We mustn't forget the talents of Harry Secombe, Roy Castle and Hattie Jacques too! They did a great job.

Thanks so much for your comments!

Best wishes, David.

 

United Kingdom

 

 

 

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