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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 16

Comments by Janet



Hello David
Janet Cost-Chretien here - your first Mary the Maid in 'The BFG'1991!
Came across your website - it's great fun. Congratulations on your OBE. Much deserved.
Love Janet aka Mini the Clown

Dear Janet,

Lovely to hear from you! Do hope you are well and busy. I see that you are also called Mini the Clown, which sounds intriguing! You must let me know what clowning activity you get up to!

I have very happy memories of that very first production of THE BFG. The play is still very much alive, I'm glad to say. The last production I saw was in Seattle!

You may be interested to know that Anthony Pedley, who played the BFG in your production, and in two further tours, is now performing a one-man show called A TASTE OF DAHL, in which he assumes the role of Roald Dahl and performs excerpts from the book plus thoughts about writing for children. Tony performs it in schools and elsewhere, and it is extremely popular.

All good wishes, and thanks for taking the trouble to leave a message!




United Kingdom


Comments by Helen Mordsley



Dear David,
Many (!) years ago I took my 3 daughters to see the "Meg and Mog Show" and they still remember all the songs perfectly!! The eldest is now a PhD stuedent in Critical Theory, the middle one is just starting a degree in Theatre Studies and the youngest in English Lit! I am convinced that their wonderful early experiences of the theatre contributed to all three developing a huge love of literature and theatre - so many many thanks for your wonderful contribution to enriching the lives of so many young people!!
We played the tape of songs from the show over and over again but it is now (tragically!) lost. I would love to play it for them at our next family get-together - do you have any idea where I could obtain a copy please?
Many thanks again for all your work - and good luck for the future!!
From: Helen Mordsley

Dear Helen Mordsley,

I was delighted to receive your message. MEG AND MOG SHOW holds very happy memories for me, and I'm glad it does for you and your family too! We put

the show on five times at Unicorn, as well as going on tour. It is still

the show that has played the most performances for Unicorn.


As you may know, there is now a television series based on the MEG AND MOG books. And Jan and Helen have written some new titles in recent years.

Unicorn is preparing to move into a brand new theatre on the South Bank.

I'm told that they are seriously considering MEG AND MOG SHOW in the new building within the first two or three years' activity. Naturally I would be delighted if this came about.

So pleased that your daughters are all doing so well. I believe, as Philip Pullman said recently, that children need the arts just as much as they need food and drink. Your daughters were obviously fortunate enough to come from a family that felt it was important to take them to the theatre. Thank you so much for that!

The cassette of songs from MEG AND MOG SHOW is no longer available, but I will send you a separate e-mail in the hope that I can help you!

Thank you again for your kind words.

All good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

David Wood


United Kingdom


Comments by Jamie Harris Esq



Dearest David,
I trust you are suitable bright eyed and bushy tailed?
I have just come across you completely by accident really (perhaps I ought to rephrase that). I have been writing emails and suddenly from nowhere appeared a post it note I'd written months ago referring to the Selfish Shellfish.
Upon doing a bit of research I was amazed and shocked to learn that you also created the Gingerbread Man, still a favourite of mine whenever visiting a bakery. Both were firm favourites as a child, (I was born in '74) and I am trying to remember whether I would have seen them both in Bristol?
My main reason for writing is to not only congratulate you on establishing such wondrous thoughts in my head as a youngster but also to inquire whether the Bernard Cribbins version I loved, played to bits and was subsequently thrown away by my Mother is still available on either cassette or cd?
I had a book of the selfish shellfish also as a kid having seen it on the stage (black with a white or purple illustration on the cover if I remember correctly) - I always loved the song 'when will we learn' and should dearly love to hear it once more and was wondering if either the song is available or even the book , to view or listen to?
I am an unemployed fashion photographer living in London these days so wouldn't be able to afford much for such gems but knowing one or the other is still available might just cause me to smile for a year and to forget the neighbours cat pooing in our porch this morning!!!
My Mother and Father used to adore the tape of the gingerbread man also, although am I right in thinking that maybe even derek griffiths might have done the voiceover for the bristol/bath hippodrome all those years ago?
Anyway keep up the good work. Oh yes, just quickly I wonder if you had anything to do with the original film of Swallows and Amazons? I've just photographed Sophie Neville (the original Titty) being married at the ripe old age of 43. A crazy affair that was.
Anyway, looking forward very much to hearing from you.
Jamie Harris Esq

Dear Jamie,

Many thanks for your message. Delighted to hear that my plays were part of your childhood! Both THE SELFISH SHELLFISH and THE GINGERBREAD MAN were seen in Bristol/Bath, on tour, so it is very likely that you saw them there, at the Theatre Royal, Bath or at the Bristol Hippodrome.


The Bernard Cribbins version is indeed available on cassette. I will send you separate details of how to get hold of it.

There was never a book version of THE SELFISH SHELLFISH (although there was one of THE GINGERBREAD MAN -the paperback version is still available through me). But I think you are referring to the free programme we handed out at all performances. And there is a seven inch record - vinyl no less! - of WHEN WILL WE LEARN? Again, I have copies of these, and will contact you with details.

I'm afraid that Derek Griffiths was never involved. However, I have worked with him - many years ago I used to be in PLAYAWAY.

Yes, I wrote the screenplay of SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS. Sophie was a wonderful Titty. Thank you for letting me know that she has married!

Thanks for getting in touch.

All good wishes,





United Kingdom


Comments by Nick Whitley



Hello David
This is Nick Whitley and I just happened upon your website while surfing the net and thought I must say a hello. Working with you on The Gingerbread Man was a happy time (even though I never quite made it onto the stage) and things have been going steady for me since. I hope things continue to go well and I would love to hear from you soon.
All the best

Thanks for your message, Nick. It was good to hear from you. Your contribution to THE GINGERBREAD MAN was much appreciated! Maybe in 2006, we should organise a 30th anniversary party to which everybody involved in the various productions over the years can be invited! The play is still very much alive, particularly abroad. In the last couple of years I have seen nice productions in Bern, Switzerland and Seattle in the United States. The Chinese production is due to open soon!

Glad to hear that you have been busy. Hope things continue to go well for you. Keep in touch!

All good wishes,




United Kingdom


Comments by Dan



Where can I find the Chish and Fips on video please?
From Dan

Dear Dan,

I'm sorry, but CHISH 'N' FIPS has, to my knowledge never been released on video. I will make enquiries, and see if anybody thinks it might be a good idea to release it. I see that my other series, THE GINGERBREAD MAN, is now out on DVD, having been reasonably successful on video.

Thanks for your interest,

Yours sincerely,

David Wood


United Kingdom


Comments by Joelle Pappas



Dear David,

I am Joelle Pappas. I worked with you for a short while in Oxford on the Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch production (dance/movement)and have often thought about how much I had learnt under your precise direction. If you have a mailing list for your forth-coming projects, would you mind including my address? I would be very interested in coming to see your new productions.
I hope you are keeping well.
With Best wishes,

Dear Joelle,

Lovely to hear from you. Do hope you are as busy as you would like to be!

I haven't really got a proper mailing list. Perhaps the best thing would be to keep a regular watch on the website! TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN is currently on tour. THE WITCHES will be opening for Christmas at Birmingham Rep, and then touring. DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD will be opening at the Sherman, Cardiff, for Christmas, and then touring.

I'm not directing anything myself at the moment!

I look back with great pleasure on THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S LUNCH experience.

I'm glad to say that the show is to be published soon by Weinberger's.

All good wishes, as ever,



United Kingdom


Comments by Kristian Lowdon



Saw your magic show at Durham Gala on Saturday with my dad i thought you were great and very funny
From: Kristian Lowdon

Dear Kristian,

Thank you for your message. And for coming to my show. Please thank your dad for bringing you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I certainly enjoyed doing it. I hope you get the chance to come to the theatre again soon!

All good wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Caroline Flood



Dear David,
I am a student at the University of Hull, entering my 3rd and final year of a Drama degree. This year I am to write a 10,000 word dissertation on any topic within the theatrical realm that interests me.
I have decided to research and investigate Children's/Young People's Theatre: an umbrella title that offers many contradictory definitions and raises some challenging questions. As you have indeed been described as 'The National Children's Playwright', I would find it extremely insightful and facsinating to hear your opinions on the subject, in particular your own definition of Children's/Young People's Theatre, and what you believe the future holds for this dimension of theatre.
I would therefore like to arrange a short, informal chat with you if you would be at all willing to discuss these questions. I, of course, appreciate you have a busy schedule so I would be equally grateful to receive a letter from you detailing some of your opinions. I will leave my email address then hopefully we can arrange something from there. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and I hope to her from you in the near future.
Yours Faithfully,
Miss Caroline Flood

Dear Caroline Flood,

The best suggestion I can make is that you read my book THEATRE FOR CHILDREN:GUIDE TO WRITING, ADAPTING, DIRECTING AND ACTING. It really says it all! And on my website there are quite a few other things that might be relevant.

I wish you the very best with your dissertation.

All good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

David Wood


United Kingdom


Comments by C. Koran



Do you know how I could find a libretto for Abbacadabra or who I would contact for show rights for this musical?

ABBACADABRA was never published. If you send me more info, I might be able to find a copy of the script to look at.

As for performing rights.....the agent who looked after the show is

Patricia Macnaughton of MACNAUGHTON LORD 2000 Ltd,
19 Margravine Gardens,
W6 2LN
TEL.0208 741 0606.
EMAIL info@ml2000.org.uk

Try her! Let me know the result!

ABBACADABRA has never been performed since its original production at the Lyric, Hammersmith. Quite why I don't know. It got great reviews.

Best wishes, David Wood.


United Kingdom


Comments by Stephen Lloyd



Is there any way of buying the recording of the Gingerbread Man which I see on your music page " with songs sung by the original Vic cast " Please send me an address .
yours sincerely ,
Stephen Lloyd

Yes, simply send me a cheque for £6 payable to David Wood to include postage and packing, and a tape can be yours! If anyone else would like more infomation, as they would like the tape too, just e-mail me.

Best wishes,




United Kingdom


Comments by Louisa



Hi David, Just a quick hello to say thank you for your congrats on the degree, and WELL DONE to you - long overdue!
From Louisa (BA HONS!). xx

Thanks, Louisa. Delighted that we have both been given a reward for our hard labours!

Hope to see you soon.




United Kingdom


Comments by Hannah Cornish



Hi David,
I am a FE lecturer teaching on various Performing Arts courses in a London college. I am planning a 'Theatre for Children' unit for November 2004 where the students will be asked to adapt a children's text and devise a theatre piece.
Your work has been fundamental in the development of this area of theatre.

Can you offer any words of wisdom?! I would be interested to know which practitioners were you influenced by and what you deem to be the most important features of children's theatre.
Thank you for your time,

Dear Hannah Cornish,

I am delighted to hear that you are planning a "Theatre for Children" unit. Maybe the best thing would be for us to meet up for a chat. Why not send me another message, suggesting some times during the week of September 27th.

All good wishes,

Yours sincerely

David Wood


United Kingdom


Comments by Alison Smits



My son (aged 2) adores The Gingerbread Man - TV version - which his Nannie found on video. What I would love to know is, was there only the one series? If not can we ever expect to find more on video.
Alison Smits

Dear Alisons Smits,

Many thanks for your message. There were two videos from the television series of THE GINGERBREAD MAN. I don't know whether the second one is still available. What I can tell you is that a DVD version has recently been released. Your local supplier would be able to find it on the computer, I'm sure.

Very glad that your son enjoys it so much!

All good wishes,

Yours sincerley,

David Wood


United Kingdom


Comments by Gavin Raeburn-Ward



Hi David
From the blue - I write to congratulate you on your much deserved OBE - I remember you so well from our brief acquaintance as a fellow member of the cast who formed the Summer School of the Sussex Youth Theatre back in 1962 (?) - it was such great fun and certainly was a summer to remember - all that talent - I believe that you were 19 (I was only 15) at the time - have you reached 25 yet?).
What ever happened to Miles Wootton, John Pole, John Challen and Mary Andress - let alone Ray Ramchandani (did he play Sax?) Val Collard, Diana Culling, Paul Fells et al! The show was, as I recall, a satire about the newly built Berlin Wall called "Off the Cuff"- devised by JC and the cast, Wesker's - "Roots" and your "Little Revue" - starring David Wood at the piano with Miles on the guitar.
We have met since, albeit briefly, when you were in "Hang Down Your Head and Die" and then again after a production of Plotters when you were producing in Reading.
Amazing, whilst I have spent my life working(?) as a banker both in the City and in more recent years in emerging economies in Africa - you have spent your life giving so much pleasure to young and old alike. I have laways been a "fan" - whenever I heard that a David Wood play was on, I always made an effort to get and see it and we also took the children (well, they deserved to come too!)- now we have grandchildren (still babies at the moment) However, I know that they too will love your plays. So many good memories - thanks for being you and for Whirligig Theatre.
Enough - congrats again on the gong - keep up the great work - we need all the pleasure and humour you can deliver in this "culture-bending" and "tradition-changing" country of ours.
Regards and best wishes
Gavin (Raeburn-Ward - 45 years on)
(on reflection - it has been considerably better for the Arts that I became a banker)
The website is excellent - and brought me totally up to date on your good works. Its also good to note that your children love you too!

Thanks, Gavin. Very good to hear from you. The years fly by, don't they! I'm afraid I don't really have much news of the summer school folk. What I can tell you is that Frank Whitbourn, who ran the course, is still alive, though somewhat frail. He is 94! I am in regular contact with him, and his brain is as active as ever!

If you feel like dropping me another line, we could exchange a little bit more news, as and when....

All good wishes,




United Kingdom


Comments by Simone Parrish



My sisters and I are in our 30s, and still remember with fondness (verging on fanaticism) the Phillips LP of "The Owl and the Pussycat Went to See...", which we got from the library as children in England.
We're all living in the U.S. now, and are wondering whether that recording is still available. (My older sister wistfully mused about having it on CD...)
Your websitesite gave me a lead on a childhood memory, which was all I had hoped for. Thanks

Dear Simone Parrish,

Many thanks for your message.

If you send me an e-mail, I can send you a cassette of THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE... . Unfortunately it is not on CD. But the cassette version will bring back memories, I'm sure!

All good wishes,

David Wood


United States


Comments by Adrian Phillips



David - many, many congratulations on the gong - richly deserved and not a day too soon.

Dear Adrian,

Thank you so much for your message. I am delighted for children's arts in general and chuffed for myself as well! Very glad you have been part of it all!

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Gill Hothersall



Many congratulations on the OBE. I was the Plum-Pudding Flea at school in the 80s, and followed it up by playing Red Admiral in 'Plotters'. I can still remember the lyrics.
I have the tape of 'Owl & Pussycat' but would love to know of any recorded version of 'Plotters' to relive my glory days.
Toodle pip!

Dear Gill,

Thank you so much for your message and congratulations. Delighted to hear from an ex PPF and Red Admiral. Two fairly assertive roles! You may be interested to know that the OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE..., which is still very popular, I'm glad to say, will be performed at the Minack Theatre, in the open air, in July.

Unfortunately no recording of PLOTTERS was ever made. And, for some reason, we didn't put a song from it on THE DAVID WOOD SONGBOOK tape. But there are lots of other songs from the other shows.

All good wishes, and thanks again,

David Wood.


United Kingdom


Comments by Karen Waddicor



I'm a member of Leeds Children's Theatre, and we've produced a lot of your shows at the Leeds Civic Theatre. As an amateur society we obviously have to wait for new shows to be made available to us. One of our directors is interested in staging Tom's Midnight Garden. Can you say when it will be available for amateur production?

Dear Karen,

Thanks for your e-mail. I am well aware of your company and its loyalty to my work! It is well worth you asking Samuel French for a licence to stage TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN. There have already been some amateur productions, including one at the Questors Theatre, London.

There is a professional tour on the road at present, but I'm sure you could produce the play from 2005 onwards. Let me know if there is a problem!

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Sally



Hi David!
It was a great pleasure to meet you and Richard yesterday. I enjoyed having your wonderful stories read to me!
David Wood
Is very good
At being witty
And writing ditties.
I really do think he
Will be working with Inky!
And I'm really looking forward to it!

Dear Sally,

Thank you so much for the message in my guest book and your welcoming rhyme! Richard and I hope very much to be working with you all soon.

All good wishes,




United Kingdom


Comments by Artie Olaisen



This is a veritable citadel of shame-less self-promotion! There! How's that for a rude comment?? :) Seriously, I LOVE the site and will return often, though, I treasure our personal communication, too. By the way, we stayed at The Luxor in Las Vegas, too!!! Being an old egyptophile myself, it was the only place to stay!!
Cheers for now, Artie in Dallas, of course!

Thanks for your message, Artie.

Yes, sometimes I wonder whether the website is something of a self indulgence! But there seem to be quite a few people who find it useful, which is very rewarding.

Please send my love and best wishes to everyone at Dallas Children's Theatre...Robyn, Amy, Nancy, Karl and anyone else who remembers me.

Hopefully you will do another of my plays soon, in your splendid new theatre!

Best, David."


United States


Comments by David Wood (really!)



Am I right in assuming you're the same David Wood who used to play piano on 'Playaway' in the 70s? Always found it amusing that someone with my name was on TV.. and now I get students coming and asking me if I was anything to do with some play on at the Warwick Arts Centre, based at the Uni where I now lecture. Still, if anyone ever asks you to come and give a maths lecture at least now you know why!

Yes, indeed, I used to be on PLAYAWAY. But I only played the piano on ONE programme. The regular pianist was Jonathan Cohen. One week the script had the cast on roller skates. This is a talent I have never mastered, so Jonathan, who was rather a whizz on roller skates, suggested I play the piano that week! Not for the whole programme - my piano playing skills are not much better than my roller skating......

My plays were regularly performed at the University of Warwick Arts Centre back in the eighties, especially when we used to open Whirligig Theatre productions there before setting off on tour. I have happy memories of staying in a guest house in Leamington Spa and driving in to work. Parking on campus was easier then!

In recent years, my adaptations of THE TWITS and THE BFG have played Christmas seasons there. I directed THE BFG there in 2001/2, so probably passed within spitting distance of a lecture theatre where YOU were performing.

Our name is rather common, I'm afraid, though its holders are often, like yourself, most distinguished! I was once mistaken for the Political Editor of The Times!

Thanks so much for leaving a message on my website. Hope to meet up one day.

Best wishes.



United Kingdom


Comments by Paul Hutchinson



We are interested in presenting your adaptation The BFG for our children's audience at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. We were curious in your comment that Seattle Children's Theatre did a slightly revised version. Can you tell me what that revision was? We are in a 55 minute production time slot and were interested in a shorter version.

Dear Paul,

Thanks for your message.

Seattle asked me to remove the framing device - the children's party. This seemed to work fine, and indeed shortened the play, which was never that long anyway! With intermission my production in the UK used to run at about 85 minutes. You can certainly make it shorter by cutting the intermission!

Can I suggest you ask Seattle for more details if you need them? And I think Samuel French have the revised version available if you ask for it!

Alternatively, I can send you a copy via email.

Hope you decide to do it!

Best, David.


United States


Comments by Kerry



I am desperate to find a backing track to your songs, on tape. When is one becoming available?

Dear Kerry,

I'm afraid there are no backing tracks to my songs available, and no current plans to produce any. There are recordings of some of the songs, which might be helpful. Let me know what you need.

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Emily



I had the Whirligig Theatre's version of Gingerbread Man when I was young & watched it til it wouldn't play - I loved it. Tell me I can buy it on DVD?

Dear Emily,

Thank you for your e-mail. I think you are referring to the Whirligig production of THE GINGERBREAD MAN, which was shown on Channel 4 some years ago. Unfortunately, it has never been released on video, let alone DVD! I will make enquiries and see if anybody might be interested in the idea!

Meanwhile, I hear that the animation series based on THE GINGERBREAD MAN has just been released on DVD.

All good wishes,




United Kingdom


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