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Magic and Music Show

David WoodDAVID WOOD presents his own theatre show for children (age 3 upwards) combining magic, music and audience participation in one and a half hours of entertainment and fun.

He is accompanied by PETER PONTZEN, the BBC Playschool pianist.


Magic & Music Show PosterWell known from BBC TV’s Playaway, Jackanory and, more recently, as ‘Woody’ in Tricky Business and Watch, DAVID WOOD is also ‘the national children’s dramatist’ (Irving Wardle, The Times). His adaptations of Roald Dahl’s THE BFG, THE WITCHES and THE TWITS, Enid Blyton’s NODDY and Eric Hill’s SPOT'S BIRTHDAY PARTY have been huge hits in the West End and on tour. His plays are presented worldwide.

2001 celebrated the 25th birthday of his play/book/TV series THE GINGERBREAD MAN. In the same year, his adaptation of Philippa Pearce’s TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN won The Equity Award for Best Show for Children and Young People, and transferred to Broadway.

David’s published books for children include The Magic Show (Hazar), Happy Birthday Mouse! (Hodder), Bedtime Story (Doubleday), which has been translated into eight languages, Funny Bunny’s Magic Show (Transworld), Silly Spider (Transworld), The Toy Cupboard (Pavilion) and The Phantom Cat of the Opera (Pavilion).

Video Highlights of the Magic and Music Show.

For over 25 years I have happily performed the DAVID WOOD MAGIC AND MUSIC SHOW in theatres all over the UK. I have been extremely lucky that Peter Pontzen has accompanied me at the piano on every single performance!

Here is a short taster of the show, hopefully giving the idea that it is really a theatre version of the sort of entertainment you might enjoy at a child's birthday party - lots of fun, magic, music and participation.

Click to play

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"Quality Live Entertainment from a Master Craftsman."

Bristol Evening Post - 3rd April 1991

New Vic, Bristol: The David Wood Magic and Music Show (until Sat).

DAVID Wood. purveyor or superior entertainment to the junior citizens of this realm. is no mean performer himself.

He has an instant appeal which makes even the youngest toddler trust him and an irresistible ability to encourage maxi- mum participation.

This show is aimed straight it the Play School market - simple songs (Often from David's own shows) with join-in choruses, magic to cast a spell over the most restless, and lots or opportunity to make a noise.

One lucky youngster - a little girl called Laura when I was there - even gets a chance to float on thin air. The rest or the audience were flying high too with the pleasure of quality live entertainment from a master craftsman.


THEATRE / Kid’s Stuff

"YOU'RE WET! " exclaims a brusque little girl who has been summoned to the stage of the Purcell Room to assist David Wood, the children's entertainer. Of course he is.

Mr Wood, young rabblerouser and playwright to the younger generation, perspires freely through most of his “Magic and Music Show," and who can wonder?Snide adults who may see something critical or political in the young visitor's observation can hardly know what it is to "work" an infantile house for 90 minutes and keep amiable order.

But it is Mr Wood's gift to have it in his palm without apparent difficulty, even if he seems now and then to forget what is supposed to come next. If he doesn't know, who does? Peter Pontzen, the straightfaced pianist, never sounds as if a cue has been missed and it is perhaps the fluency of Mr Wood's humour which holds the young attention without strain.

He mixes his simple but well ordered programme with a shrewd emphasis on visual effects - on our knowing the colour of things and being able to count up to 10. Such abilities he tests by seeming to get them wrong himself

But the way he sets the house on a roar is by not seeing something which is visible to us and by assuring us it isn't there. His animal impersonations aren't up to much, though the monkey is promising.

And every critic knows that at, this time of year - indeed at any time - your real comedian never patronises his audience or stoops to condescend to it.Mr Wood seldom does anything else but then he isn't a real comedian and anyhow most of us like him as he is. For although he plays down to us as conjuror and singer And demonstrator of magic gadgets, he never ceases to be bumblingly affable. He also institutes faith in his tricks. When another little girl sits on a table which is made to levitate, we marvel. Then comes the interval and the table stands alone and unattended on the stage.

Does anybody try to see through the trick by tampering with the table or even inspecting it from a distance? Not at all. If that isn't instilling faith I don't know what is. The show plays today and tomorrow. Take your ear plugs for the cheering.

Eric Shorter

28th December, 1984

OXFORD MAIL, Friday, October 29 1994

Great for kids!

"THERE’S nothing funny about underpants,” boomed David Wood sternly as he unfurled a great flapping pair of boxer shorts festooned with red polka dots.

Of course there is. Today’s youngsters are a sophisticated bunch, but it’s a blessed relief that they can still hoot with approval about references to underwear, smelly socks, and spoonerisms which result in words like stinky poo. It’s timeless humour.

There was much hooting at Mr Wood’s Magic and Music Show at the Playhouse, Oxford, yesterday.

From the first “hellooooo” this master of the deliciously silly had young and old alike in his palm singing “Quackety Quack” choruses clucking and grunting along with “Old Macdonald Had a Farm”

and singing some of his old songs, including The Gingerbread Man (he created the TV character).

Then there is the magic. Mr Wood produces objects from ears, makes rabbits vanish, and appears to make one lucky five year old ride on a magic carpet.

It is 90 minutes of enjoyable family entertainment with expert musical accompaniment by Peter Pontzen, the BBC Play School pianist.

What amuses today’s children? Forget high-tech wizardry – bring on the smelly socks and David Wood.

The show continues at the Playhouse, today at 2pm and tomorrow at 11am.






Party piece
The David Wood Magic and Music show (recently at the Lyric Hammersmith) is the apotheosis of children’s party entertainment. Mr Wood is not so much a jolly uncle figure as a genial older brother, never patronizing his audience (aged three upwards), always turning every tiny contribution from them to good account without once indulging into a knowing wink to the adults present.

The components of the show – songs, sometimes his own like The Gingerbread Man, and surprise tricks – are not in themselves remarkable. But Mr Wood is a talented actor and (as is clear from his plays for children) has the imagination to enter a child’s world. He also knows just how long a joke can go on being funny. The result is that everyone (parents too) enjoyed his show unreservedly.

Heather Neill


Magic and Music Show

Technical Requirements

I prefer to work, if possible, in a black box, or at least black tabs. I need as much depth as you can give me, although I am adaptable. (I have been known to work in sets for drawing room comedies or on platforms in front of cinema screens.)

If possible, I like to get-in at least 3 hours before curtain up, especially if there are no tabs, and the stage has to be set by the half.

I would hope that a lighting person and a sou nd person (maybe the same person if necessary) would be there throughout the get-in. It is not absolutely essential to have another person in the corner, but if possible, it would make life easier.

A tuned piano should be onstage, stage left.

I bring my own radio mike, which goes into your system (Input mixer XLR or Cannon will be no problem - anything else may need leads).

A warm general coverage, lighting-wise, is all that is necessary, plus one special lantern centre front of house, to be focused on arrival.

If front tabs are not available, the pre-set lighting required is best achieved with reds and blues creating interesting shadows.

There are half a dozen lighting cues.

There are no taped sound cues, but I bring play-in music, interval and play-out music, on cassette or on disc. Hopefully your system will accommodate one or the other.

Treads into the auditorium both sides.

2 stage weights.

Both halves are approximately 35 minutes long, with a I5/20 minute interval.

Dressing room space for 2 would be appreciated.

I usually ask to be allowed to take cassettes, records and books to be sold in the foyer, with commission to the theatre. After the show I like to sell personally from the stage or in the foyer. A member of staff to assist is very helpful.





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