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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 8

Comments by Ruth and James Allan



Dear David,
As James really enjoyed performing in Fantastic mr fox last summer I have just visited Regent,s park website for 2008. I am not sure whether there is a similar production and as we had hoped to attend an audition again i wondered if you could let us know. If not, are you directing any childrens productions elsewhere and please could you let me know if alternative auditions are happenening. James would love to do something with you again. best wishes x

Dear Ruth and James,

Many thanks for your message. I'm afraid that the new artistic director at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, has decided not to do a children's play in the same way as we did it last year. He is doing a production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, aimed at children as well as adults. But I don't know whether he will be inviting children to be in the cast!

Sorry, but I am not directing anything else and don't have any other ideas for you. But I do hope James gets a chance to show off his skills again soon!

All good wishes.




United Kingdom


Comments by Alfie



Dear David,
I went to the Polka theatre to see the BFG and I thought it was amazing!!!! Well Done you have done a great job at writing it and I loved the puppets. The man who plays the BFG looks so like him.
From Alfie
Dear Alfie,

Delighted you enjoyed THE BFG at Polka. The production there is proving very successful, I am glad to say! And the play itself is getting more and more popular, particularly in America! Soon I am going to see productions in Columbus, Ohio and Charlotte, North Carolina, which will be exciting! Also, in early 2009 a brand new production of THE BFG is due to tour the UK.

Yes, Tim Barlow, the actor who plays the BFG at Polka looks very much like the Quentin Blake illustrations! What you may not have realised is that Tim Barlow is profoundly deaf. He is quite remarkable, because he has to lip-read everything. He does a great job.

Thanks for writing!

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by ken derek edgecombe



Hi David, saw you on Film 4 on sunday in "IF", i remember seeing this film when i was a lot younger and thought it was very good.
Its good to see you are still doing well, do you still keep in touch with the actors in "IF".
All the Best.
Dear Ken,

Glad to know that IF .... hasn't dated too much! Lindsay Anderson always prided himself on the fact that his films didn't date, except for the odd skirt length! Strange to think we were making the film just over 40 years ago! My memories of those exciting days are still very vivid, and I hope to write about it some time. I last saw Malcolm a couple of years ago when the film was shown at the National Film Theatre as part of a Lindsay Anderson festival. Sadly Richard Warwick and Christine Noonan both died far too young, some years ago.

Not long ago I had lunch with Graham Crowden, who played the history master. He is now in his 80s, but still very witty and bright. And some years ago I played a small role in LONGITUDE for Channel 4. This was directed by Charles Sturridge, who was one of the younger boys in IF ..... (you may remember him lovingly looking at a peach in the junior locker room!).

All good wishes.



United Kingdom


Comments by Gavin Young



Hi David,
I saw an article about you in "The Stage" about your great success. Prompted me to remember Chi High where I turned up in about 1960/61 when I think you were in the 6th form and a prefect to boot in the days of KD Andewrson no less!! Anyway I have just signed in to congratulate you on your 40 years of success and 40 more to come!
Best Wishes
Gavin Young
(Form 1Y!)
Dear Gavin,

Thanks for your message. Hopefully I wasn't too unpleasant a prefect! Were you in the same class as Adrian Noble, who later went on to run the Royal Shakespeare Company? When he got the job, I wrote to congratulate him, saying how proud 'Spiv' would have been! I said that we had never met, but we shared 'Spiv' as our English master. Adrian replied that I was mistaken. We had met! I had been his form prefect for a year! Whoops!

What have you been up to in the last 45 years? If you were reading The Stage, perhaps you also joined this strange profession!

Last month I attended a Christmas lunch held by the old boys' association, which was quite fun, although it is a bit depressing when everybody seems so old! Including oneself!!

It was also a real pleasure to return to Chichester Festival Theatre to see the Youth Theatre doing my adaptation of Dahl's JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH.

Thanks for your message and all good wishes.



United Kingdom


Comments by nick strudwick



Dear David Wood
I have just had the pleasure of directing a very successful production of James and the Giant Peach at the Abbey Theatre St Albans. I had a wonderful cast and a designer and construction team who created an innovative and believable set. We gave 15 performances in our 230 seat thatre and averaged around 80 percent for the run. It was one our most enjoyable and enjoyed Christmas shows. We are now considering our choice for 2009 and are attracted by the thought of The Gingerbread Man (which have not done before). Some of our members have expressed reservations about this proposal,believing that the play is attractive only to very young (5 -7?) children. I would be very interested in your views. From your experience of many productions of the G'bread Man have you found that older children also enjoyed the play and entered into the spirit of it? I would like to think that the answer to that is yes!
Many thanks
Nick Strudwick
Dear Nick,

Great to hear that your production of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH went so well. I wish I could have seen it.

THE GINGERBREAD MAN certainly does work for older children. And for adults! But I can understand why some of your members might express reservations about doing the play. The perception of the title THE GINGERBREAD MAN is coloured somewhat by our knowledge that there is a fairy tale version, aimed at small children. My play is a totally different story. The worry, however, is that your potential audience doesn't know that!

It is true that Roald Dahl's stories automatically have a very wide age appeal, whereas THE GINGERBREAD MAN is aimed very much at the primary school age.

I suppose it depends on the breadth of your audience, and how many plays you do during the year solely for adults. Personally I think it would be admirable if your Christmas show was specifically aimed at children. Adults would still come, not just as parents and grandparents, but as adults who enjoy the atmosphere of a children's play.

THE GINGERBREAD MAN has been seen all over the world. I have directed it a dozen times. It has been in London theatres for Christmas seasons and played to very large audiences. Your technical team obviously can provide a splendid set on your well-equipped stage. I would be tempted to go for it! Let me know your decision.

All good wishes.



United Kingdom


Comments by Justin Joseph



Dear David
Sorry to bother you with such a tedious request: I am a drama teacher and put on your version of Babe the Sheep Pig last year, which proved hugely enjoyable. We had the trial sheep as bolshy super-models in white coats, black wigs and dark glasses, a Russell Brand cockerel and a Pavarotti turkey. Great fun. I have just read your adaptation of James and the Giant Peach but am ideally looking for a play of yours with a larger cast (60ish? - these need not be large roles of course...
Any ideas???
Many thanks
Justin Joseph
Dear Justin,

Many thanks for your message. Your production of BABE, THE SHEEP-PIG sounds great! I wish I had seen it. Next time you do one of mine, please let me know about it in good time!

You mention JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, suggesting that it is not suitable for a large cast. Only last week I saw a wonderful production of the play at Chichester Festival Theatre, performed by their Youth Theatre. There were 72 young people in the cast! Please look in the LATEST NEWS section of the website for more information, as well as photos. There are many opportunities for exciting crowd scenes, and all sorts of talents were displayed including rollerblading!

Another Dahl adaptation that might be suitable is FANTASTIC MR FOX, which I directed at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park last summer with a cast of 29. But you can use many more.

Another Dahl, of course, is THE WITCHES, with opportunities for a large number of nasty ladies!

I'm not sure of the age of your actors. For younger children you might look at my adaptation of THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S LUNCH. This is a fun musical in one act. It is based on the book by Ronda and David Armitage, and is published, complete with song CD, by Weinberger. Large cast of actors, singers, puppeteers, stage managers etc.

I hope one of these ideas proves suitable. Let me know if you decide to do one of them, and I will certainly try to come to a performance.

All good wishes.





Comments by Annie Divver



We went to see The Owl and the Pussycat before Christmas with our Grannie and our friend Lucille. My (Jasmine's) favourite part was when the turkey got everything wrong, it was really funny! My (Catrin's) favourite bit was when the Quangle Wangle squirted water on everyone! Our Mum remembers going to see it when she was younger than us about 30 years ago, and Brian Cant was in it! We thought the whole play was great, and the Plum Pudding Flea was a little bit scary Thank you very much for writing such a good play. Jasmine and Catrin (age 7 and 5).
Dear Jasmine and Catrin,

Thank you so much for leaving your kind message! I was delighted to hear that you enjoyed THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE ... When I went to see it, everybody seemed to be having a great time! It is particularly pleasing when this happens, because the play was written in 1968 - a long time ago! The fact that it still makes young audiences laugh and join in is very encouraging!

Your Mum is quite right about seeing it - it was at the old Towngate Theatre, Basildon in the early 1970s! And yes, Brian Cant played the Quangle Wangle! He was the star of PLAYAWAY on BBC television. I used to appear in several programmes per series, and asked him if he would like to play the Quangle Wangle. Perhaps your Mum also saw FLIBBERTY AND THE PENGUIN. Brian was in that too! And in 1976, the very first performance of my play THE GINGERBREAD MAN was seen at the Towngate.

So glad you both enjoyed the play, and thanks again for writing!

Happy New Year!



United Kingdom


Comments by christine Dorville



Dear David, we met a long time ago , in July 1967 , in the Swann Theatre, in Worcester. You and the troup of "Next time I'll sing to you".I nevere forget this moment, it was magic! I still kept the programmes.Iwould be so happy to have some news of you David. Read you soon. Christine Dorville
Dear Christine,

Many thanks indeed for getting in touch. 40 years seems to have flashed by! That first season at the Swan was very special for me. It was almost my first job after leaving university, and to be asked to both act and direct for the company, at the age of 23, was something very special!

Professionally most of my news appears on this website! My wife and I have two grown up daughters, and all of us seem to be as busy as ever!

Thank you for bringing back happy memories! It was shortly after you saw NEXT TIME I'LL SING TO YOU that I started writing my very first children's play. This was THE TINDER BOX, which opened on Boxing Day in 1967. Earlier this year I realised that it was my fortieth year writing plays for children.






Comments by Neil Laurenson



Dear Mr Wood
I have enjoyed visiting your website. I don't know how you have managed to write 50+ plays! I started writing plays because my fiance, who is a teacher, asked me to write a short play for an assembly. The assembly went well, so I wrote another short play. And another. Then a panto for the staff. I am working on my second full-length play but am not confident that I can write another 48!
I was wondering how one is meant to approach publishers with children's plays. Most publishers tend to say "we do not accept unsolicited material". I would be grateful if you could give me some advice on this matter.
Yours sincerely
Neil Laurenson

Dear Neil,

Thanks for your message. Glad to hear you have been writing plays, especially the ones for children to perform. Participation in theatre is a very important aspect of children's lives, given the chance!

However, the fact that you write mainly plays for children to perform may make it difficult to get them published. The reason is a simple commercial one. Play publishers make their money from licensing productions and collecting royalties. For amateur performances, particularly those in school, the royalties are notoriously small (rightly so!). But it means that most publishers think twice if not three times before publishing plays specifically for children to perform. However, there are a few of them around. You need to check them out, by chasing around on the internet, by visiting specialist playscript shops, and finding out who the publishers are, and what kind of play they seem to like.

No problem about sending unsolicited scripts. The play business is somewhat different from the book business.

Another problem can sometimes be that the plays written specifically for an individual school can often feature things only applicable to that school. They may include the geography of the school hall, the position of doors etc. Or they may include special scenes for specific talented children or groups - acrobatic children, for instance. Sometimes publishers find these plays too parochial.

But do try! And, if all else fails, it is very inexpensive now to self-publish. All you need is a decent typescript of the play, which can be downloaded. You can then charge people per copy, or let them have it for nothing. Then you would charge for any performance given.

Good luck with it, and thanks for writing.

Best wishes.



United Kingdom


Comments by Jacqueline



Love the web site. I remember you in 'Play Away' on television back in the 1970s. It's great you are still entertaining children and loving every minute of it.

Dear Jacqueline,

Thanks for your message.

Delighted that you remember PLAY AWAY. We had great fun making the programme. In fact I only did two or three programmes each series, but they were always something I thoroughly enjoyed doing. The other day I went to see Brian Cant in a touring play called THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE A HOME. He was his usual talented self, pretty remarkable because he had a very serious operation a few years ago. Toni Arthur lives and teaches in Norfolk, and I still see her from time to time.

Sadly I don't think any of the PLAY AWAY tapes were kept. This is probably why the programme has never been issued on DVD. Shame!

All good wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Elaine



Dear David
On Saturday I saw one of your plays for the first time, the BFG at the Polka theatre. I particularly enjoyed the humour in Buckingham Palace and the helicopter fly-past!
Due to an indisposed Queen and Queen’s understudy, Her Majesty was played by the Director, Roman Stefanski, reading the script, and he was marvellous - I found myself wondering what you would have thought of The Queen as a dame!
On a separate point, I have always loved an element of magic in the theatre, particularly for children. Do you have any dates for your own magic and music show please?
Kind regards

Dear Elaine,

Thanks for your message.

Delighted that you enjoyed THE BFG at Polka. I am afraid I didn't manage to catch Roman's performance as the Queen! I am sure he did a great job. One of the great problems in children's theatre is that money is always tight, and it is often impossible to employ understudies. Polka often relies on the shows' directors to fill the gap if somebody is ill! Roman is a talented actor anyway, so I am sure the audience enjoyed him, as you did!

You kindly ask if there are any dates coming up for my MAGIC AND MUSIC SHOW. The answer is yes! On March 29th, 2008, I will be at The Egg in Bath. And, subject to confirmation, I hope to be at The Theatre, Chipping Norton on June 7th.

Do hope you might be able to come!

All good wishes.



United Kingdom


Comments by Linda



Just wanted to say that my grandchildren have enjoyed a lot of your books and one especially like The Toy Cupboard. He would read it everyday whilst I looked after him while his parents were at work, he is 8 now and his 3 year old brother found the bok the other day and loves it too BUT it has lost a lot of the bits to it and nobody sells the book anymore. Amazon had 2 or 3 used but not now!!!
Thanks for you hard work writing these lovely stories over the years.

Dear Linda,

Many thanks for your message. I'm very pleased that your grandchildren have enjoyed my books, including THE TOY CUPBOARD. It is very sad that the book is no longer in print. Pavilion Books, the publisher, has been taken over by another company called Anova. If you really felt strongly enough, you might send an e-mail to Robin Wood (no relation!), asking him if there are plans to re-publish THE TOY CUPBOARD!
All good wishes!

David Wood


United Kingdom


Comments by Kerry Lawrence



Dear David, a couple of years ago I received a signed copy of "Funny Bunny's Magic Show" from you. My son, now 4, and I have enjoyed your book so much and I would very much like to be able to share Funny Bunny's magic with my friends and their children. I would love to order another two copies of this very special book if I may.
I look forward to hearing from you and wish you a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

Dear Kerry,

Delighted that FUNNY BUNNY'S MAGIC SHOW went down so well! I will send you an e-mail telling you how you can order another two copies!

Best wishes,



United Kingdom


Comments by Arran



As a child, my grandparents used to play me 'The Owl and The PussyCat Went To See' which I loved, but the tape has been lost for some time now. Where can I buy a new one? It's a great story and I'd love to hear it again Thanks very much!

Dear Arran,

Very pleased to hear that, thanks to your grandparents, THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE... featured large in your childhood! It was written in 1968. Next year it will be 40!!! Maybe we should arrange an anniversary revival! Meanwhile I'm very happy that Brentwood Theatre are putting on a production for Christmas, opening on December 3rd.

The cassette is indeed available. I will send you an email with details.

Best wishes, David.


United Kingdom


Comments by Eilidh Nicoll



Dear Mr Wood, I am 8 (almost 9) years old.At scool I need to do homework about a famus playwright and guess what I am doing U!!! You have written lots of plays - about 100000 how do you do it? Thank you for the website I LOVE IT bye E
Dear Eilidh,

Thank you for choosing me as your homework subject! I hope you find enough to write about on the website! Hopefully you get the chance to be in plays at school. I think acting in plays and reading plays in class can be great fun.

Good luck with your writing!

All good wishes, David.




Comments by CHRIS JACOBS



Sorry but a correction in my maths was necessary....
Dear David,
Congratulations on you OBE, by the way. Thoroughly deserved.
Has it really been thirty-two years since “Think Of A Number” in Peterborough? Gosh! Doubtful that you will recall my humble contribution, but I did so much enjoy working as CSM on that revue, ‘twas a wonderful company.
In fact that show, or a particular number in it, is the reason I went looking and came across your wonderfully designed website. I shall now be a regular visitor.
I have been in SE Asia for close on twenty years and would be very happy to get hold of a copy of lyrics and music for the musical sketch from the show which was a panto-esque adaptation of King Lear as a Cinderella-like frolic. It was my favourite piece in the show at the time, and fancy it would go some way to helping kids here in Malaysia to access the Bard’s work. Would you by any chance have a copy lurking around under the stairs or something? Or perhaps know where I might find it elsewhere?
Glad that you in fine fettle and doing so much glorious work.
Chris Jacobs

Dear Chris,

Very good to hear from you! In fact THINK OF A NUMBER wasn't 22 years ago - it was 32 years ago!!! Happy days. And of course I remember you well. John G occasionally mentions your name and what you're up to in Malaysia and elsewhere.

Talking of John, I will contact him re OLD KING LEARIE. He wrote the music, of course, but the sketch was written by Simon Brett (who now writes very good crime novels and other books and radio plays). John will, I'm sure, find a copy and check with Simon it is OK to send you a copy.

I will send this message by email too. Please let me have your postal address.

Thanks for getting in touch! Yes, things are still busy here, I'm happy to say!

All good wishes, David.




Comments by Stephanie Lindo



Hi David I loved fantastic Mr Fox and working with you was great thanks for a great show
Stephanie (badger) squirrel team

Dear Stephanie,

Good to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed your FOXY summer with us in Regent's Park. Emma and I loved working with such a great cast - all the professionals, students and children were a dream company! Hope you're having a good term!

Best wishes, David


United Kingdom


Comments by Donna Covington



David our theatre troupe will be performing "Save the Human" in April. First, I'd like to thank you for writing something with substance for children. We really didn't want to do another fairytale this year-so thanks. I am looking for a clear graphic of Save the Human and your picture that is on the front of the script. I believe it's a real attention getter and would love for that to be our poster. Can you help out? Thanks!

Dear Donna,

Thanks for your message. Delighted you are putting on SAVE THE HUMAN. It is one of my favourites and doesn't get performed enough! I will send you an email in the hope that I can help with your publicity ideas.

Best wishes, David.


United States


Comments by james allan



dear divid
thank-you for the dvd,cd and the photo cd i love the show it is fantastic.All my family and frendes came to see it. being a fox cub was the best thing i have ever dun
love james allan *

Dear James,

So glad you enjoyed FANTASTIC MR FOX at Regent's Park. We were delighted with the performances of all you fox cubs! Glad the dvd has arrived. Hopefully it will be a happy reminder of your time with us!

Have a good term. And a good Christmas!

Best wishes, David.


United Kingdom


Comments by Lisbeth Rake



Thankyou for coming to the Chesil on Friday. You made many young members, and not so young, feel very special. We have a super photo of you with Aedan/Tom by the clock. Can we send it to you?
He really is rather special and I was so pleased when he came to the auditions.He has only ever appeared in musicals before so was anxious about his straight acting. I am sure hewill treasure your, and Cecily's warm comments.

Dear Lisbeth,

Thank you for your message. I much enjoyed your production of TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN and am sure the citizens of Winchester had a great time at the Chesil, which is a delightful theatre. Thank you for sending me the photo. Young Aedan did an excellent job as Tom, and the grandfather clock was great too! Please let me know if you tackle another of my plays in the future!

Best wishes, David.


United Kingdom


Comments by Soomin Ahn



I'm a student of BSB and I enjoyed your magic show today. Thanks for your visit I hope you also enjoyed visiting our school.

Dear Soomin,

I'm so glad you liked the magic. It was a real pleasure to return to the British School in Brussels. Opening the new Junior Library (four times!!! - to fit all the children in!) was an honour and a lot of fun. And giving my GINGERBREAD MAN storytelling to the infants department was great too. If you look on my website in LATEST NEWS you will see the photos of my visit sent to me by Hilary, a wonderfully enthusiastic, inspirational teacher.

Hope you enjoying the term!

Best wishes, David.


Korea, South


Comments by gemma



hi my name is gemma and my friend emma and i are in speech and drama and for are exam we are doing one of your duologue it is called the two ugly step sisters bella and donna i play donna anyway we need some imformation about you anything that is interesting is great thanks gemma
Dear Gemma and Emma,

With rhyming names like that you make perfect casting for a duologue!

Delighted you are doing the Uglies.

You say you want some interesting info about me! Well, this website is stuffed with info about me - hopefully some of it is interesting! Have a look in the biography bits and the 10 interesting facts!

Good luck with your exam.

Best wishes,





Comments by Sue Scheffelaar



Dear David,
I have created a news item on our website announcing that you are opening our new Junior Library next week - please visit www.britishschool.be/index.php?pid=72&id=204 to view the article. I used an image from your website to illustrate this page. I hope that this is OK with you. If you would rather I change the picture to be one of the 'old' BSB ones, please let me know and I will change it immediately.
Thank you so much for your help
Kindest regards
Sue Scheffelaar
External Relations
Dear Sue,

Sorry I am responding so late to your message. Indeed the visit to the BSB has come and gone! But thanks for taking the trouble to ask which photo I wanted to use!

I had a great day at the school.

All good wishes, David.




Comments by Stephanie N.



Hi Mr. Wood: We love "Silly Spider" but our copy is totally bedraggled. I live in the States and want very much to share your wonderful "pop through the slot" books with other children, but can't find them here! Any suggestions? How can I buy them from you directly?

Dear Stephanie,

Thanks for your message. I'm afraid I no longer have any copies of SILLY SPIDER, and the publishers decided some time ago not to reprint....

I'm delighted you like the 'slot' books.

Try Amazon and ebay. Occasionally SILLY SPIDER copies come up.

The books that are similar and use slots and which ARE available - through me - are MOLE'S BEDTIME STORY (£6.50), MOLE'S SUMMER STORY (£6) and FUNNY BUNNY'S MAGIC SHOW (£6). I will email you with more details!

Best wishes, David.


United States



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