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 13

Comments by Sally Ashton



Next half term we are doing an author study of Roald Dahl with a class of 7-8 year olds.( I am a teacher at Fishbourne Primary near Chichester.) Do you come to this area and could you e mail me back with details of your production. Thanks Sally Ashton

Dear Sally, Thank you for your enquiry.  The best thing I can suggest is that you contact Anthony Pedley, who presents A TASTE OF DAHL, a 40 minute play using only the words of Roald Dahl - a play in which Anthony "is" Roald Dahl.  If you go to his website you will learn more.  I directed the production, and can warmly recommend it to you.  Anthony also does a question and answer session after the play.  He knows a tremendous amount about Roald Dahl and the books and enjoys talking round the subject!  Playing in schools is his speciality! The website address is www.anthonypedley.co.uk   His telephone number for bookings is 01255-814884. Best wishes, David


United Kingdom


Comments by Katie



hey david.
im just doing an essay at school on the importance of childrens education through theatre. just wondering if you could forward me your thoughts on the topic? that would be much appritiated... thanks heaps.. regards katie.

Dear Katie, Good luck with your essay!  You can look at this subject from two points of view.  Many people would say that taking part in drama helps children understand themselves and others and increases self confidence and self expression.  Other people will suggest that a theatre visit by a child triggers the imagination and encourages creativity at home or at school. I agree with both points of view and have worked for many years towards giving children exciting times in both theatres and schools.  If I had my way, every child would be able to visit the theatre at least once a year without having to pay!  And drama classes would be on every school curriculum. Best wishes, David




Comments by John



I'm currently taking a class in called, 'Theatre for Young People'. This is something thats complete different to other classess of Drama that I have done. What is come basic advice you could give a newbie?

Dear John,  Thanks for your query.  Perhaps the best advice I can offer is in my book THEATRE FOR CHILDREN, which is published in the UK by Faber and in the United States by Ivan Dee.  In this book I have tried to write down everything I know about the subject, from the point of view of the writer, the director and the actor.  I write about some of these things in other sections of my website too. Good luck with everything! Best wishes, David




Comments by Emma-Jean



Dear David,
Hello my name is Emma-Jean Jeffries and i am in my final year at mountview
on the acting course. I have just finshed a musical called 'Brenda Bly:Teen Detective' where i played Brenda. A friend of mine saw the show and thought i would love your shows as i can play a child well even though i am at the great age of 25. I have read your site and would be very interested in your plays, if you ever need a very willing fun and energetic character please feel free to count me in. take care hope to hear from you soon.

Dear Emma-Jean, Very glad to hear that you have been enjoying yourself at Mountview, which is a very good drama school.  Yes, quite often I am involved as a writer or director in a show in which actors have to play children.  Can I suggest that you send a c.v. to Whirligig Theatre.  The address is in Contacts or the Theatre Directory.  Although Whirligig is not producing at the moment, I may well be doing other things independently. Meanwhile, good luck with all you do, particularly when you step out into the big wide world at the end of your course! Yours, David


United Kingdom


Comments by Lance Davis



Wonderful website, David. I've heard a lot about you from Murry.
Lance Davis
Parson's Nose Productions

Dear Lance, Many thanks for your message.  I have heard quite a bit about you from Murry too!  I am glad that your productions are going well. All good wishes, David


United States


Comments by Daren Elliott Holmes



Hi David, "what has us got ere". Congratulations on your O.B.E, "bigoggles your majester", I now have two chiddlers to join your fold. Hope to speak to you again one day. Love Daren x. P.S. Love the site!

Dear Daren,Very good to hear from you! Thanks for your message. I hope you are well and busy! Congratulations on your family news! I should have followed up your progress following your accident. It was such bad luck.

All good wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Goronwy Thom



hello you probably don't possibly remember me, but i auditioned for you several yrs ago for a part in spot the dogs birthday party. I have been performing since then as a cabaret, variety entertainer.
I am just hoping you may have some advice as to how to get involved or to have the chance to audition for "traditional theatre" roles and if you had any auditions coming up? anyway, my email is ******@******.com and it would be great to hear from you thanks
Goronwy Thom

Dear Goronwy Thom, Thanks for your message.  Glad to hear that you have been busy.  Sorry you didn't get a job in SPOT'S BIRTHDAY PARTY! Do you have an agent?  It would be helpful to have someone to search out possibilities for you and organise auditions. But very often, in my opinion, the best way forward is to "do it yourself".  Keep a look out for information on upcoming shows and send off your c.v. and photo.  Also, write to all the regional companies and all the directors you can think of, all the casting directors listed in reference books, film companies, children's theatre companies etc. etc.  If you achieve just one job from a mailing such as this, it will have achieved its purpose.  That happened to me many years ago, when I was in rep at the Swan Theatre, Worcester.  I made it a rule to write five letters every day (in those days there were no word processors or computers!).  My handwritten letters, with a c.v. and photograph went all over the place for weeks on end!  But it was as a direct result of one of these letters that I got a part in the film IF ... which, without making it sound too dramatic, changed my life in the acting profession! So look in The Stage.  Subscribe to PCR or another casting report, and lots and lots of luck! All good wishes, David


United Kingdom


Comments by Mrs Stephanie Tompkins



Hello David!
My young daughter, Louisa, was one of the lucky brownies, playing in the rockpool in 'Tide Race' filmed in Cornwall 1990.There is a lovely close-up of her with the young boy who played the lead.
She is now 27yrs, a Mum & an English teacher, here at home in Truro Cornwall.
We have a video of the film & watched it again today only to find it had deteriorated somewhat.
Please can you tell me where I can get a replacement, preferably a DVD as this occasion is very precious.
Hope you can help me
Yours Sincerely
Stephanie Tompkins

Dear Stephanie, I was delighted to receive your message.  My memories of TIDE RACE are happy ones!  Am delighted to hear that Louisa was one of our Brownies!  Please send her my best wishes. On the day they filmed the scene with the Brownies, I was there!  Kennack Sands was chosen as the location, partly because I had spent happy times there with my family.  My in-laws live near Helston.  This meant that we regularly visited (and still do!).  And when I was asked to come up for an idea for Central Television and the European Broadcasting Union, for a children's film needing little or no dialogue, so that it could be released internationally, I immediately thought of Cornwall, the beaches and, of course, Culdrose! TIDE RACE won several international awards, I am glad to say.  Unfortunately, it was never released on video or DVD.  But I will send you an e-mail in the hope that we might find a way of providing you with another copy. Meanwhile, all good wishes to you and Louisa. David


United Kingdom


Comments by toby griffiths



i have been trying to find richard fowler on the internet but have had no luck! i am a fan of his illustrations! and always liked the bean books he did in the 1980's i wondered if you could forward this to him or get back to me with an email address or something?! that would be extremely helpful
(i would like to purchase some of his art work)
thanks again.

Dear Toby, Thanks for your message.  I will certainly pass it on to Richard Fowler, and I am sure he will reply! We were only saying the other day that maybe publishers should be approached with a view to considering his Bean Books for republication! Richard and I are working together on several books at the moment.  Hopefully they will be published over the next couple of years. All good wishes David


United Kingdom


Comments by Stuart Ansell



Hi there David. As a child I recorded the Jackanory version of "The Hobbit" onto audio cassette. Even though they are well listened to I still have episodes 3-10 in my possession. I recently transferred them onto CD, and was wondering if you would be interested in hearing them? They have given me so much pleasure over the years and it would be nice to relay them back to you, and you will be happy to hear that they sound as fresh and vibrant today as they did when first broadcast

Dear Stuart,

Many thanks for your message. I was delighted to hear that you enjoyed THE HOBBIT. We had a lot of fun recording those programmes, although I was sitting on some kind of earth which had all sorts of living creatures in it! It all got rather itchy!

Over the years there were several attempts to release our Jackanory version on video. These, however, were always vetoed by the Tolkien estate, who didn't want too many different versions on the market.

It would give me great pleasure to hear the recordings you made. I will send you a separate e-mail to discuss this further.

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to write.

Did you see the celebratory programme about JACKANORY on BBC3 (I think it was) recently? They were kind enough to show a picture of the four of us telling the story of THE HOBBIT!

All good wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by alan



Dear David
Casting your mind back to your wonderful performance in if...
Can you remeber where the location of the cafe that you & Mick go to on your bike ride ?
I recognise some of the are around Cheltenham and Tewksbury....but did the cafe really exist in that neck of the woods ?
Kind Regards

Dear Alan,

Thanks for your interesting question!

I think the cafe, which was a real one, was on the A1. Nowhere near Cheltenham or Tewkesbury! If my memory serves me right, we filmed that sequence towards the end of our Cheltenham shoot, because Malcolm had to learn to ride a motor bike first! He learned on a gentle pop pop....we were both a little alarmed to see the 850cc, or whatever hugely powerful model it was, especially as we had no tax, insurance or helmets!

They closed the cafe for us, or at least they served their customers from round the back while we filmed!

The whole sequence, including the arrival, was shot in a day, which was pretty good going. The naked grappling was not in the script. I recollect Malcolm and Christine rolling fully clad on the floor rehearsing, then Malcolm saying as a joke as they broke for a cup of tea, 'Lindsay'll have us doing it naked next!' Whereupon Lindsay, overhearing, said, 'Malcolm, I think you may have had a brilliant idea!' 'Oh God!' exclaimed Malcolm, but the die was cast!

Me putting the saucer on Malcolm's cup was, I'm proud to say, my idea!

Memories, memories....it doesn't feel like nearly 40 years ago! Well, maybe it does!

All good wishes,



Great Britain


Comments by Deborah Gearey



How can i get hold of the opera score and libretto of your adaptation of Philip Pullman's "Clockwork"?

Dear Deborah Gearey,

Thank you for your message. CLOCKWORK is published by Peters Edition Limited.

There has been a problem about releasing it for performance, because of a film rights situation. I don't have the full details.

However, it would be worth your while to contact the Hire Library of Peters Edition at 10-12 Baches Street, London, N1 6DN, telephone 020 7553 4020, e-mail hire@uk.edition-peters.com.

You might also try e-mailing Fiona Flower who looks after CLOCKWORK. Her e-mail address is fflower@uk.edition-peters.com.

If you draw a blank, I can e-mail you the libretto.

Thanks for your interest.

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Deborah Hogg



Hello from Holland.
We met years ago in Wimbledon.
I am your cousin and nearly made it to tea bag..?

Dear Deb,

Great to hear from you. Sorry you didn't quite make it to Tea bag! But I am sure it was fate, and that your family life in Holland has been much more rewarding!

Am writing to you, at more length by e-mail.

All good wishes,





Comments by M & M



Dear David,
I have just ordered the book: The Ideal Gnome Expedition from Samuel French Ltd. online. Would you please tell me is the musicscript included in the book? Besides, is there any DVD or CD for the vocal of this musical play for sale? Where can I buy it?
Thank you very much for your reply.

Dear Guestbook message writer!

Thanks for contacting me.

The piano/vocal score of THE IDEAL GNOME EXPEDITION is a separate publication, available from Samuel French.

There is a cassette, not a cd or dvd, of songs from the tv series CHISH 'N' FIPS, which was based on the play. It gives a good idea of the songs.

I will send you an email telling you how to obtain it direct from me.

All good wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Tom



Hello David, I was wondering how long your adaptation of James and the Giant Peach runs for, as I'm considering mounting a student production of it over the summer. What is your position on productions making cuts to adhere to time constraints?
Thanks in advance, Tom.

Dear Tom,

Thanks for your message.

I think JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH runs at about 70 minutes, plus an intermission if needed.

However, the San Diego Junior Theatre production was, I think no more than an hour. It might be worth contacting Will Neblett in San Diego - you'll find the website via Google.

The rule is that cuts or changes need to be agreed via Samuel French. Such cuts are often accepted, as long as the story is still clearly told!

One thought is to organise a reading with your students to help guess the timing. I hope very much you don't feel the play is too long for your summer project - the youth theatre productions I have seen have always been very happy occasions!

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Angie Morris



Is it possible to buy a copy of the song, When Will We Learn' from 'The Selfish Shellfish'? Many thanks,
Angie Morris

Dear Angie Morris,

Thanks for your message.

Yes, the sheet music of the song WHEN WILL WE LEARN? is available, price £3 including postage. I will send you an email giving you more details.

This song is in my play THE SELFISH SHELLFISH, all about oil pollution,seen through the eyes of the rock pool creatures under threat from an approaching oil slick. There is a seven inch vinyl record of the song available too.

For a few years FRIENDS OF THE EARTH used the song as a kind of unofficial anthem!

All good wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Andy



We are looking to stage your play of MEG AND MOG SHOW in the near future but are enquiring about the set for the show.. do you know of anywhere that hires the set or maybe you have some of the original set in storage for hire?
i would be gratful if you can help in any way with this matter.
kind regards,
andy brennan
stagewise school for the performing arts


Dear Andy,

Thank you for your message.  I am delighted you are thinking of staging MEG AND MOG SHOW.  Unfortunately, I don't know of anywhere that hires the set.  The last professional production was staged at Brentwood Theatre in Essex about three years ago.  Sadly, the original set and costumes no longer exist.

Sorry I can't be of more help.  But good luck, anyway.

All good wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by James Andrews



Hi David. Its James Andrews here...aka Hubert and Young Barty in Tom's Midnight Garden at the New Unicorn. Just found out that they are doing Babe at Regents Park this summer. Couldnt find an email for you so thought I would write an entry in your guest book. Do you know anything about the casting? I believe they are doing Midsummer Nights dream too? Any info on when they are casting and how I could get involved would be fantastic. Hope your well.


Dear James,

Thanks for your message. Regent's Park are casting in February. You could send a c.v. to Jane Salberg, who is acting as casting director. Mention in the covering letter that you are interested in both the Shakespeare and in BABE.

Good luck, and enjoy the last performances of TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN!

All good wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Caroline Watsham



Dear David
My local drama group are hoping to stage "The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner" in March. This is a great play - I first saw it about 30 years ago and still have fond memories of it.
Could you please tell me whether it is possible to buy a tape/CD of the music. Our pianist is valiantly working through the score, disaster struck last week when his wife broke her leg, requiring two operations and 8 weeks total rest. Understandably he is now not as free as he once was and the cast are having to put up with my inept grade II plonkings! It would really help if we could have some "real" music to listen to!
Thanks - look forward to hearing from you


Dear Caroline,

Thank you for your message. I am afraid there is no video of PLOTTERS to my knowledge. Even the 1979 Whirligig production was never recorded for posterity!

I have a cassette of me singing the songs to piano accompaniment. I will see if I can find it and send you a separate e-mail to ask if you might be interested to hear it!

Meanwhile all good wishes for your production, and I am so sorry that your pianist's wife broke her leg.

All good wishes.





Comments by Karen Currums



Dear David
What a wonderful moment I have just expericenced finding your website!
Back in 1993 I read a small advert in a local liverpool paper reading Auditions for travelling theatre company. What the heck I thought and turned up. Well after a long day of auditioning I got through and indeed made it as one of the 12 locally recruited Witches! I had no previous experience and spent the next 4 days learning the script, the 5th day was spent at the dress rehersal and one week later was the opening night at the Liverpool Empire...and I was waiting in the wings!
The play was brilliantly written, the cast made us most welcome and we felt part of Clarion productions. We were given an insight into the magic of theatre with the puppets, costumes and stage changes, not to mention getting used to the press wanting our pictures! I have spoken of this week many times with fond memories and I get emotional every time. I am now married and have two children, however I will remember that week as one of the best in my life.
I am sorry I cannot remember which site I have just read, where your quote says that the locally recruited witches brought something different to each performance.
Well, Thank You. It was an absolute pleasure and one which I would give anything to repeat!


Dear Karen,

Many thanks for your lovely message. I am delighted you had such a good time on THE WITCHES. You are not alone! Apparently there are several groups of witches in various parts of the country who keep in touch and meet up from time to time! There have been three tours of the production over the last twelve years, so there are a lot of ladies who have kindly given their time and skills to being turned into mice!

Thank you so much for getting in touch! Keep a look out for any of my plays that visit Liverpool. You may be interested to know that my new production, based on the television programme FIMBLES, will be at the Liverpool Empire from Friday July 21st to Sunday July 23rd. Maybe your children would be the right age for this!

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Diiana Jones



Am looking for song which I think is from the selfish shelfish called 'when will we learn ? nOT SURE IF IT IS FROM YOUR MUSICAL


Dear Diana,

Thank you for your message. Yes, the song WHEN WILL WE LEARN? comes from my musical play, THE SELFISH SHELLFISH. I will send you a separate e-mail to tell you how you can get a copy!

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by nikki richards



please help!!!! As a child I would sit and watch 'The Gingerbread Man' for hours and hours. It is fantastic!! I would love to be able to share that wonder with my own children. Where can I get The Gingerbread Man from?


Dear Nikki,

Thank you for your message. Very pleased you enjoyed THE GINGERBREAD MAN. I think you are probably talking about the animation series on television. This is available on DVD. There are also videos. I suggest you look on Amazon or eBay or similar, because they are often on offer at reduced prices! Or you might ask in a shop - the videos may no longer be available, but I am sure the DVD is.

If you have any problems, send me another message!

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Kate



Hello, my theatre group are wondering about putting on a production of The Witches. It would be self-funded, small-scale, for kids, and a chunk of the tickets would be given to kids and families who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford to go to the theatre. Can you let me know what you charge, on what scale, etc for the rights? Thanks Kate

Dear Kate,

Thanks for your message. Any production of THE WITCHES has to be licensed. You need to talk to the amateur theatre department at Samuel French Ltd.Tel. 0207 387 9393, address 52 Fitzroy Street, London W11 5JR. Explain what you want to do and they will tell you what fee will be payable per performance. It all depends on size of hall etc. You could do the full version, as published by Samuel French, or the Puffin version, which is a little easier to put on.....it divides the story into certain significant scenes. The paperback book is called THE WITCHES:PLAYS FOR CHILDREN. All success to your venture.

Best wishes, David.


United Kingdom


Comments by Amy Louise



Hello David, my name is Amy and i currently in my third year at the Uce studying theatre design. I came across your book about childrens narrative, and am purchasing it to help me with my dissertation. I am doing it on Jim Henson's puppetry mostly focusing on The Dark Crystal. I would love to ask you some questions that might be able to help me gain a better understanding about designing and adapting for my major project. Would this be possible? Any help from you would be fantastic!!!
Many thanks Amy!

Dear Amy,

I hope you received the message I sent in reply to your earlier message.

If you want to send me some questions, I am happy to try to answer them. However, this can be quite time-consuming, and sometimes I find it easier to record my answers onto an audio tape - the old fashioned C60-type! So, if you wanted to send me a tape and the questions, I would do my best to be of help.

If you just have a few questions, which might be quite easily answered by email, send me another message.

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


<<Previous Next>>



Back to top