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James And The Giant PeachNUTCRACKER SWEET

A musical play.
Book, music & lyrics by David Wood.


The Redgrave Theatre, Farnham commissioned NUTCRACKER SWEET and first performed the play for Christmas 1977. Several repertory productions followed, and in 1980 the play was presented by Whirligig Theatre on tour and at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London.

Set in the Nutty May Fair, the play follows the struggle of the nuts – including Kernel Walnut, Monkey Nut, William the Conker, Gypsy Brazil and Old Ma Coconut – against the villainous confectioner Professor Jelly Bon Bon, who is searching for nuts with which to create a new chocolate assortment.

The “Chocolate Squirter’s” aims are eventually foiled, thanks to the nuttiness of the Nuts and the audience’s help.


There are seven characters, three female and four male.


“You may well ask what I was doing one recent afternoon in the company of several hundred children, waving my arms in the air and singing ‘nutty, nutty, nutty, nuttiness is best.’ I was preventing myself from being glazed and then squirted with chocolate by Professor Jelly Bon Bon, is what I was doing. So would you have been. For this vintage children’s show by David Wood is every bit as good as THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE... or THE GINGERBREAD MAN. And, as in all the best Wood shows, participation is an essential element of the plot, not an afterthought … traditional children’s entertainment in a fresh coat of paint.”
Financial Times

“… hundreds of children at Sadler’s Wells on their feet and roaring their defiance at the Chocolate Squirter.”
The Guardian

“… a splendid confection … superb children’s theatre.”
The Irish Times

“Children loved this show, and so did their parents, and so did I.”
Cambridge Evening News

“Perfection in any art form is rare. In the sphere of children’s theatre we came as close to it as is possible with David Wood’s NUTCRACKER SWEET … the triumph of this play is not in what it contains, but in how its content is transformed into performances which are quite spell-binding. The moment when, at a given signal, every child in the audience stood up, waved their arms and sang ‘nutty, nutty, nutty, nutty, nuttiness’ is the moment when I realised that I was experiencing perfection in theatrical experience; the audience and performers unselfconsciously acting as one … David Wood’s script, untiringly witty, ensured that anyone of any age will find something to delight in this show.” Hibernia “… the inventive genius of David Wood … of such is the theatre, including audiences of the future born.”
The Stage

“A wonderful, wonderful enchanting show, intelligent and sophisticated and no child should be deprived of it”
South Wales Argos


James And The Giant PeachThe play and piano/vocal score are published by Samuel French Ltd. First Class Professional & Foreign Rights : Casarotto Ramsay Ltd. UK Repertory Rights : Samuel French Ltd. UK Amateur Rights : Samuel French Ltd. US Stock and Amateur Rights : Samuel French Inc.