My Plays
Back to my plays


A musical play. Book & lyrics by David Wood.
Based on books by Ronda & David Armitage.

Commissioned by the Oxford Playhouse, THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S LUNCH was first performed there in 2000.

This is an adaptation of the first of a delightful series of books by Ronda and David Armitage. Mr. & Mrs. Grinling, the Lighthouse Keeper and his wife, live in a cottage on a cliff.

Every day Mr. Grinling rows out to the lighthouse, where he works all day. His wife prepares him delicious lunches, which she sends to him via a pulley system between the cottage and the lighthouse. Problems begin when hungry seagulls steal Mr. Grinling’s lunch as it travels over the sea.

It is decided that Hamish, the Grinlings’ cat, will accompany the lunch, but he becomes sea sick and the seagulls, unthreatened by him, still have a feast.

But they are finally defeated when Mrs. Grinling puts mustard into her husband’s sandwiches. The play has a running time of approximately forty minutes.

It was conceived as a play for two professional actors and a large cast of children. At Oxford, it became a major project involving five schools.

A team of director, assistant director, choreographer, designer and musical director made regular visits to the schools, rehearsing the children and involving them in set design, prop making, choral singing and percussion playing.

In the final stages, the two professional actors rehearsed with the children, before performing on the main stage of the Oxford Playhouse.

The project was a great success. Many of the children had never been in a theatre, let alone performed in a play, but rose magnificently to the occasion.

The play is published by Weinberger, complete with CD accompaniment to help school productions.

David Wood writes : I was thrilled to be able to write and direct this production for the Oxford Playhouse. It was a very rewarding experience. I hope very much that there will be more productions of this play. Mr. & Mrs. Grinling should be played by two adults or older children. There are opportunities for as many as sixty children to take part as choir, puppeteers, dancers and percussion players.

“Our most experienced writer of children’s plays, David Wood has done an excellent job of adapting the novel by Ronda and David Armitage … the pupils really put their heart into belting out David Wood’s tuneful songs … a delightful stage version.”
Oxford Mail

“The place was buzzing, everyone was contributing and the children’s faces simply glowed with excitement. It was great to watch.”
Tish Francis, Director, Oxford Playhouse

Enquiries regarding all performing rights to : Casarotto Ramsay Ltd. First class Professional and Foreign Rights: Casarotto Ramsay Ltd UK Repertory Rights: Casarotto Ramsay Ltd UK Amateur Rights: Josef Weinberger Ltd