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 5
pages>> 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17

Comments by Miranda Donald

 

 


Hi David,
I was just wondering if The Tiger Who Came To Tea - children's stage play - is available to view as a script. I love the story and I am looking at performing this classic - I run a Children's Theatre Company (adults performing for children) in the small town of Ballarat in Victoria - Australia. I am wanting to do this adaptation in 2011 and am interested in reading your version. Is this available?
Looking forward to your response. I have enjoyed reading your comments/philosophies on children's theatre - I have 15 years experience in this field as well as being a mother and performing arts teacher for children as well as a professional actor.
Keep up your exciting and rewarding work and I wait in anticipation. Thank you.
Dear Miranda,

Many thanks for your message. Delighted to hear about your interest in THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA, which I thoroughly enjoyed adapting and directing. It toured for a year in the UK, and is hopefully coming back in the summer.

I am passing your message to my agent, who will, I am sure, be happy to e-mail you a reading script. Could you please send us your e-mail address?

Meanwhile, all good wishes, and I do hope you enjoy the adaptation when it arrives.

Best wishes.

David

 

Australia

 


Comments by Rachel Gaffin

 

 


Hi, David
Just a warning - the Fidlers are coming! We'll see you on 27 Feb in Newbury. Hope I'll have the chance to introduce you to Dora and Jack!
Rachel
x

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Isabel Ford

 

 


Hi David
So great to see your work on this fabulous website. I hope you and your family are keeping well and happy?
I
Dear Isabel,

Thank you so much for your message. Lovely to hear from you! Do hope you are well and as busy as you would like to be. How is your little twit? And how is your big twit?

For the benefit of visitors to the Guestbook, I ought to point out that Isabel was a wonderful Mrs Twit in a production of my adaptation of Roald Dahl's THE TWITS. She offered a superb physical performance of endearing grotesqueness - a bravura performance to relish and treasure!

Glad you like the website, Isabel, and I hope you have found your photo in the PLAYS section.

The family are indeed well and happy, thank you. And I am currently casting GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU.

All good wishes,

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Jolene Abrey

 

 


Dear David,
Im Reading your book theatre for Children, as part of my research into puppetry and childrens Theatre. I am writing a research project for university and my project title is can puppets be used to explain complex issues to children? do you have any thought on this? i would be very grateful
Regards
Jolene

Dear Jolene,

Thank you for your message. Hopefully my THEATRE FOR CHILDREN is proving useful. Your project sounds very interesting.

Although I am not by any means an expert on puppetry, what I do know is that in many cultures puppetry has been for adults as much as for children. This suggests that puppets have for centuries been used to tell stories and to illustrate deep emotions and, in your phrase, complex issues.

As far as children are concerned, we know that they like toys, which are often small versions of themselves, or of animals, or of inanimate objects, such as toy cars. This explains why dolls are used as puppets when, for instance, psychiatrists investigate child abuse. It is easier for children to answer questions by pointing at a doll, particularly when they don't have the vocal skills to describe their experience accurately.

Similarly it is noticeable that many stories for children involve animals, although really they are representing human beings. In children's books, animals often talk in human language, wear human-style clothes and experience human lives and problems. This, I suppose, is because writers and teachers, not to mention illustrators, understand that children are more likely to respond to situations played out by animals than by adults. In this way, more complex ideas and problems can be discussed. The classic example of this, I suppose, is Aesop's Fables, in which lessons are taught by the experiences of animals, like the Hare and the Tortoise.

This then translates itself into theatrical possibility. It is perhaps no surprise that puppets are used to tell stories in the theatre, or to contribute to the telling of stories, such as in WARHORSE. In this instance, the sophistication of the puppetry is what most adults talk about when they leave the production. Also, of course, they talk about the fact that they were extremely moved by the story. My question is, would they have been as moved by the story if it had not employed the use of brilliant puppetry! Maybe, maybe not!

Puppets have been for generations used by good teachers. They know that it is probably easier to explain how the solar system works by using tennis balls and other-sized balls on sticks, which revolve around each other, rather than simply try to describe the phenomenon in words. This becomes a theatrical device when used by companies like the much-lamented Molecule Theatre, who brilliantly demonstrated theories of physics on stage. Today there is a production of HORRIBLE SCIENCE, which probably uses similar devices.

There is a small-scale theatre company that teaches French to very young children, using puppets and music and, obviously, words.

So the answer to your question must be a resounding yes.

All good wishes.

David Wood

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Adam Clarges

 

 


I am a big fan of your Roald Dahl adaptation but have a quick question to if or why not a version of charlie and the chocolate factory has been made taking into account the film, songs, costumes etc
Dear Adam,

Thanks for your message.

Very glad you like my Dahl adaptations! There are seven of them now, and I am very grateful to the Dahls for allowing me to work on them.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is not available for adaptation, because all the rights are owned by Warner Bros., who did both versions of the story on film. Furthermore, they are planning a big Broadway musical based on the book sometime in the future.

So, unfortunately, I will never be able to add this one to my list!

All good wishes.

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Gail Kotadia

 

 


Dear David :)
I am doing a project and i am a bit confused. I have been asked to find a monologue from a contemporary, pblished play. Does The Witches (Grand High Witch) fall into this category?
Thank You :)
Dear Gail,

Thanks for your message.

THE WITCHES definitely falls into the category of 'contemporary, published play'. And the Grand High Witch's speech would be an ideal monologue, I would think! The play is published by Samuel French Ltd. You could order it on their website www.samuelfrench-london.co.uk, or ring them on 020 7255 4300.

Good luck with your project! With that speech you can frighten the life out of the adjudicator!

All good wishes.

David.

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Andrew Mathys

 

 


Dear David,
Just a quick note on behalf of the Polka's 2009-2010 James and the Giant Peach team! We are all very much enjoying your superb script, as much as the audiences are. The schools shows started again today after the Christmas break, and it really is a lot of fun!
Thank you and well done again for such a good script and happy new year!
Best wishes,
Andrew Mathys
(Grasshopper!)
Dear Andrew,

Many thanks for writing. Very pleased to hear that you are still enjoying playing Grasshopper in JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. Please send my best wishes to everybody! The Polka production is a delightful one, and I am very pleased it has been revived, and that the cast is such a strong one!

Soon I hope to come along and see the production once more.

All good wishes.

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by David Hogg

 

 


Dear David – I have just read in the Bath Chronicle of your recent visit to St Saviours School in Bath.
Next time you are visiting this area perhaps you might make contact so I can show you round “my” Theatre, the Original Theatre Royal in Bath www.oldtheatreroyal.com, or you may even like to make a special visit.
I would also be very interested in discussing possible opportunities for you to stage a play during the summer when the Theatre can be made available.
With best wishes,
David(Second Cousin)
Chairman
BMHT

Dear David,

Delighted to hear from you. On all the many occasions I have been to Bath, I have never been aware of the Original Theatre Royal. Fascinating indeed!

I will contact you by e-mail and hope to learn more!

All good wishes.

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Showhouse

 

 


We are an event management company based in India having offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata. We have been in this business for over a decade and offer complete event management services & solutions. We undertake Business Events like Conferences, Seminars, Product Launches, Road Shows, Dealer Meets, Sports events, Corporate Events , Fashion Shows, and Theatre.
We are currently planning a Children’s Festival in Mumbai during the month of mid-April/May and Theatre is going to be a big part of this festival. I was therefore interested in getting to India your “Magic & Music Show”.
Please let me know if you are interested in working with us and if YES, do let me know
I look forward to hearing from you
Rose Mary Pentony
SHOWHOUSE

Dear Rose Mary Pentony,

Thank you for your message.

Unfortunately, I am unable to answer all your questions on the website, and need an e-mail address to which to write to you.

Thank you for your interest, and I look forward to receiving an e-mail address as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

David Wood

 

India

 


Comments by pablo

 

 


Dear David: i´m from Argentina and a few years ago i saw your incredible gingerbread man serie. Where can i find the completes dvds in the web?
Thank you for your great and beutyful magic.
Dear Pablo,

Thank you for your message.

I am delighted that you enjoyed the animation series of THE GINGERBREAD MAN. There are two DVDs available, covering the whole series.

If you Google 'Abbey Kids', you should reach the website of the company that distributes them. Click on 'DVD', then look on page 28, where they are listed under the letter 'T' (for THE GINGERBREAD MAN). Don't look under 'G'!

The numbers of the DVDs are AHEDVD 3217 and AHEDVD 3159.

I do hope you can order copies and enjoy the programmes again!

All good wishes.

David

 

Argentina

 


Comments by Ann Davies

 

 


For some years I have co-produced entries in the YFC national drama/entertainment and pantomime competition and are now trying to decide on a play for this years production. I have read the script of "Danny Champion of the World" and loved it. I am howver concerned that it may have too long a running time for the competition rules. We have not yet received the rules for this year but anticipate that it may provide for a total setting/performing/striking time of 60 minutes. Would you be able to let me know the running time as published? If it is presently too long for the rules, is there an edited version? If not would you be prepared to consider such a possibility? We have had some successes over the years with our productions (including 3 national finals) and try to do justice to the works which we undertake. I hope you are able to reply. Thank you

Dear Ann,

Many thanks for your message. Delighted to hear that you like the DANNY script. It certainly worked extremely well on its very long UK tour!

It would certainly be impossible to do the whole play, including setting-up and striking, in 60 minutes. The touring production, with its interval, was about 100 minutes.

One thought - have you seen the Puffin Books version? ISBN 978-0-141-32376-3. This is my own adaptation of my own adaptation, if you see what I mean? It turns the play into several shorter plays, more easily staged by young performers in schools and youth groups. You might find that you could do 2 or 3 of these plays, enough to tell the story reasonably well, without having to do the whole of the French script.

Another alternative is that you edit the script, but I think this might prove tricky!

I will send you another e-mail, so that you can contact me direct, if you want to.

All good wishes.

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Tania Grange

 

 


Hi David
I am currently well into my 40s but have never forgotten a school theatre trip to London when I was about 10 to see 'Plotters'. I am now teaching in Cyprus and really hope to put on a production of this using children aged 6-11. If you ever happen to be in Cyprus it would be great to have you come and talk to our children.

Dear Tania,

Thank you for your message.

It is very gratifying that you remember PLOTTERS. You must have seen it at the Shaw Theatre, I think. It was there for two Christmas seasons, the very first two after the Shaw Theatre opened. Julia McKenzie was Ladybird. In fact it was a very splendid cast, directed brilliantly by Jonathan Lynn, who later went on to write YES MINISTER, and who now directs movies in Hollywood! A few years later when Whirligig Theatre, my touring company, first went into production, we toured THE PLOTTERS OF CABBAGE PATCH CORNER, including a season at Sadler's Wells, which was exciting too. The play is still popular with amateur companies and school groups, and it is done professionally by companies in Germany and elsewhere. It is quite 'green', although to be honest, I never intended to write an environmental play. I simply got the idea of writing a play about insects in a garden!

I do hope that you put on a production. By coincidence, in December 2009 I am going to Bath to see a school production there.

It would be nice to come to Cyprus too. Maybe one day ...

All good wishes.

David

 

Cyprus

 


Comments by Tom Howard

 

 


Hello David, You are coming to Oxford in Feb 2010 to the Oxford Playhouse to do a talk about your works, I am also putting on your adaption of James and the Giant Peach at the same time in Oxford at the Old Fire Station Theatre in Oxford from the 16th to the 20th Feb,
I would love it so much if you could come and watch my production of this, and I would love it so much if you gave me your opinions and comments on it as well. You have been an inspiration to me to put on this play, so thank you.
I hope to hear from you Soon
Kind Regards
Tom Howard
Dear Tom,

Thanks for your message.

Yes, indeed, I am due to give my talk about adapting Dahl at the Oxford Playhouse on Friday, 19th February.

I was interested to hear that you would be putting on your adaptation of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH during that week. There is a possibility that I might come to Oxford the day before, in which case I might be able to come and see your production on Thursday, 18th February. However, I cannot promise yet!

I will send you an e-mail a little nearer the time, in the hope that we can make it work.

Incidentally, you may have noticed that the Watermill Theatre, Newbury are currently doing JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH as their Christmas production.

Good luck with all your preparations, and hopefully we might meet up in February.

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Andy Parr

 

 


Now then !! I've found this site whilst trawling google for something completely different. I saw "Flibberty and the Penguin" at the Rex Theatre in Wilmslow. It was a primary school trip (pantomime?) and remember it for the fact it starred Johnny Ball. No-one believes me that the event took place, not helped by the fact that the Rex closed down long ago. The trip must have been in the late 70's/early 80's.
I wonder if you could email me a copy of the flier that you have on your website.
Thanks for reminding me about a long forgotten bit of my childhood. I'm only 37 but it seems a long time ago !
Dear Andy,

Thanks for your message. You have brought back many happy memories, and a few hairy ones! The tour of FLIBBERTY AND THE PENGUIN was in 1978. It was a pilot tour for what became our touring company, Whirligig Theatre. We were trying to prove that we could do children's theatre on a slightly larger scale than usual, in the mainstream theatres. The following year, Clarks Shoes sponsored our new company, which then continued for 25 successful years.

We were invited to provide the Christmas show for the Alfred Beck Theatre in Hayes, but they insisted we had a name in the cast. Bearing in mind we didn't have much money, this was quite a tall order. But in the end, as you remember, Johnny Ball decided to join the team! At that time I did a certain amount of presenting on BBC children's television, and knew him from that - also, he had once played the Owl in my production of THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE ... in London.

I will send you an e-mail, because I can do better than send you a copy of the leaflet you saw on the website. I can send you a real one! Not, unfortunately, for the Rex, but for the Christmas season at the aforementioned Beck Theatre.

The Rex, incidentally, was one of the theatres we pioneered. They had not had many shows for children before, let alone that ran for a whole week! I am flattered and delighted that you remember it.

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Wendy Barr

 

 


I direct 20 very keen kids (WytKidz) on a voluntary basis during term-time and we are looking to bring off The Witches. I am having trouble finding anyone with a reading copy and your adaptation sounds wonderful. Can you offer me some hope as we hope to be on stage by the end of May 2010. Many many thanks. Wendy Barr
Dear Wendy,

Thank you for your message.

Delighted that you are interested in my adaptation of THE WITCHES. There are two versions. It depends, really, on the age of the performers which one you go for.

The original, full-length version is published by Samuel French Ltd. You could look at their website www.samuelfrench-london.co.uk.

I have also adapted my adaptation, if you see what I mean, specifically for young people in schools or youth groups to perform. It consists of several plays using the main incident in the story. If you do them all, you get the whole story! This is published by Puffin Books ISBN 0-14-131084-7

Do hope this helps. Let me know if you need any more information.

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Kirsty Wright (Ne Pilkington)

 

 


Hi David
I have been reminiscing and looking through my old Memeory box and just had to look you up. My Name was Kirsty Pilkington back in 1992 when i was chosen to be one of the Witches in your stage adaptation of The Witches. i became a witch at The Lyceum, then was asked to join the crew at Birmingham, and again at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London. What an absolutely amazing experience, the cast and crew were so friendly and welcoming, a memory that will stay with me forever. i9 would have loved to have carried on with my acting, but unfortunately, i contracted a brain virus called encephalitis, which took me years to get over, as it also left me with epilepsy...fit free though now for 6 years. I was wondering if you had a cast listing of the 1992 production? I would love to get in touch/find some of the main crew, if possible, this would be great! I still have my Certificates signed by you, Certifying me a great witch..:-) Glad to know you are still bringing big smiles and happiness to your audiences....i had a great time on stage and i know your audiences do too. Take care and thanks for the memorys.
Kirsty x
Dear Kirsty,

Thank you for your message. So sorry to hear that you have been seriously unwell, but very glad that you seem to be in good form now! Also, I was delighted to hear your happy memories of THE WITCHES. You were in the world premiere no less! And I am assuming that you were on the BLUE PETER trip to London! It was a busy and exciting time, and I always look back to that production as one of the highlights of my so-called career!

I will try to find the information you have asked for. And I will pass your message to Emma Clayton, my assistant director, and the person you worked with most. She is still busy, and, indeed, was my assistant director/choreographer on THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA, which has only recently stopped touring.

All good wishes.

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Liz Curtis

 

 


Hi David,
I'm a Reception teacher. We have your lovely book, Bedtime story. Sadly Mole has gone missing. I've made a spare mole out of card, but he's not nearly so good as the original!
Is there any chance of your sending me a copy of the image so I can make a better one?
In anticipation ....
Cheers,
Liz Curtis
Dear Liz,

Thanks for your message. So pleased that MOLE'S BEDTIME STORY is a success in your school! I will send you an e-mail with some more thoughts about spare moles!

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Kitty Cox

 

 


Dear Mr Wood,
Two things:
1. We all absolutely loved The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Theatre Royal in Windsor. Is the show going to run again anywhere? I'd like to tell my friends. I see that it isn't on your website. Did you really direct it? If so, I think you did a fantastic job. I was so delighted to see theatre for very little children that was done with so much care and pezazz.
2. I am chair of a pre-school near Oxford which is part of a primary school. I am interested in a school visit. Please could you give me an idea of prices so that I can discuss it with the pre-school and the school - ie prices for2/3 workshops in a day for 3-5 yr olds, 6-9 yr olds and 9-11 yr olds. Are you very booked up? For when are you currently taking bookings? Do you live miles from Oxford??
With thanks in advance.
Yours sincerely,
Kitty Cox (chair of Kirtlington Pre-School)
Kirtlington
OXON OX5 3HJ
Dear Kitty,

Many thanks for your message. I was delighted to hear that you enjoyed THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA. It is hoped that the production will return next year for another tour, and a summer season in the West End. When we have firm news, I will announce it on the website.

Adapting and directing THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA was a very great pleasure and privilege. It was the favourite of both my daughters when they were small and it is no surprise to me that the book has been so successful for 40 years.

The second part of your message is best answered by e-mail. I will get in touch with you very soon.

All good wishes.

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Lisa

 

 


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have just returned from a performance of 'The BFG', which was absolutely out of this world. My daughter and I have shared this book countless times, and your production captured it beautifully. As a teacher I have read this book to class after class after class, and found myself wishing for a time machine, so as to bring them all to the theatre together to watch this magical performance bring my favourite story to life so wonderfully.
All credit to the fabulous cast too, the lighting, sets and costumes.

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for your message. Delighted to hear that THE BFG hit the spot for you and your daughter! The company is, as you say, very strong, and the reaction around the country has been excellent. It is particularly pleasing for me that the adaptation is still working so well. I wrote it in 1990. During the writing process Roald Dahl sadly died, so was never able to see the adaptation. Happily his family all liked it, and it has continued to be produced ever since, both here and in America, as well as several other territories. It is a wonderful story and I was privileged to be allowed to adapt it. It was my first Dahl adaptation. Have just finished my 7th! GEORGE'S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE goes into rehearsal next month, and hopefully will be coming your way during its long tour. More details on the Birmingham Stage Company website.

Thanks so much for writing. I will pass on your comments to the company.

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Debbie Tipping

 

 


Hi David
Remember me, I had the great honour and pleasure working for you, seems along time ago now. However glad to see you are still working as hard as ever. I'm in Lincoln now trying to be country girl. My daughter who is now 13 was so excited about the Tiger who came to Tea even at her age. Had been her favourite book for years second only to the Noddy stories of course.
Anyway keep up the fantastic work
Debbie
Dear Debbie,

Lovely to hear from you. Am very pleased to hear that your daughter was a TIGER fan! We are coming into the West End for Christmas, which is nice!

Keep in touch, particularly if you ever come back into the business.

Best wishes.

David

 

England

 


Comments by Sally Egan

 

 


Dear Mr Wood,
I (like so many others) have very fond memories of your plays, which I was taken to see as a very young child in Leeds. I am now back living and working in Leeds looking for repertoire for a project I'm doing with Opera North this Autumn/Winter. I'm trying to track down a song of yours. J-A-C-K F-R-O-S-T is all I can remember. Which play is it from and where can I get hold of the music please?
Thanks,
Sally
Dear Sally,

Thank you for your kind words. I remember some excellent professional productions of my plays at the old Leeds Playhouse and amateur productions at the Civic Theatre.

But, rack my brains though I may, I cannot remember writing a song about Jack Frost! There was a play called JACK THE LAD, featuring lots of Jacks, but Mr Frost didn't get a song!

So this is a mystery......perhaps it wasn't my show! Please let me know if you come up with any other clues!

Sorry I cannot help.

Best wishes,

David.

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Myette Godwyn

 

 


Dear David,
Looked at clip from the latest BFG and it looks fantastic!Sorry that Whirlwind Theatre hasn't contacted you for ages. there has been a few changes and have moved venue. We are all still here and now based at The Storey in Lancaster. Our web is linked to you and we have added your comments about children's theatre to the front page that you gave us. Have a look - www.whirlwindtheatre.org.uk. We are going to try and see the BFG because it looks very exciting and its coming up to liverpool soon.
All the best
Mike and Myette (Whirlwind Theatre)

Dear Mike and Myette,

Thanks for your message. Good to hear that Whirlwind is still in operation and that you have found a new base. Keep up the good work! Hope you enjoy THE BFG, which has been getting some lovely reviews. It features actor/musicians, who display tremendous talent.

I remember with affection your production of THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S LUNCH. Sadly, there have not been as many productions of this one as I had hoped. But it won't date! So maybe more companies will find it eventually ...

All good wishes.

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by clare friswell

 

 


Hi David
I've heard your adapting goodnight mr tom, I was wondering when it will be avaliable for amatuer performance - I am absolutely desperate to put it onstage, its my all time favourite book!
On another note, many thanks for a wonderful adaptation of the witches, I was the grand high witch in it about 6 years ago!
Dear Clare,

Thanks for your message. I am afraid it will probably be quite a while before GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM is released. It has been commissioned by a professional company, I have delivered the first draft, so now I await news of whether it will be produced professionally next year. Then, hopefully, Samuel French will look after the amateur rights, which might be released a year or two later ...

Delighted to hear you had fun as the Grand High Witch! It's a splendid story, and I had a lot of fun adapting and directing the original production.

All good wishes.

Yours

David

 

United Kingdom

 


Comments by Danny Stokes

 

 


Dear Mr Wood,
This is just a quick question really but I would just like to know if you attended Birmingham School of Actings Blue Companys showcase in May this Year?
Im sorry to waste your time if you didnt attend but I was informed that you did.
Would you mind ever so much helping me to clear this rather odd matter up for me please :)
Hope to hear from you soon,
all the best,
Danny Stokes.
Dear Danny,

I was indeed there. You were rather good in a Dennis Kelly piece.

Good luck for the future.

Best wishes,

David.

 

United Kingdom

 

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