David Wood: Fifty Years of Suddenlies!
About the event
David Wood and Libby Purves in Conversation
Broadcaster and journalist Libby Purves talks to David Wood about 50 years in children’s theatre with shows including The Tiger Who Came to Tea, The Gingerbread Man and Goodnight Mr Tom.
David Wood is called ‘the national children’s dramatist’ (The Times). His plays are performed worldwide, and include The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner, Save The Human and The Ideal Gnome Exhibition. Among his adaptations are eight Roald Dahl stories Dick King-Smith’s Babe The Sheep Pig, Eric Hill’s Spot’s Birthday Party, HRH the Prince of Wales’ The Old Man of Loch Nagar, Philip Pullman’s Clockwork, Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came To Me (Olivier Award nomination 2012), Sam McBratney’s Guess How Much I Love You, the award-winning Tom’s Midnight Garden (from Philippa Pearce’s novel) and Michelle Magorian’s Goodnight Mr Tom, which opened at Chichester, toured twice, played a season at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End and won the Olivier Award 2013 for Best Entertainment and Family.
His book, Theatre For Children (Faber) is a set text on both sides of the Atlantic.
Film screenplays include Swallows and Amazons and the award-winning Back Home (from Michelle Magorian’s novel).
For the Queen’s 80th birthday, he wrote The Queen’s Handbag, broadcast live from Buckingham Palace Gardens to 8,000,000 BBC1 viewers.
With composer Richard Taylor he adapted L P Hartley’s The Go-Between, which won Best Musical Production, Theatre UK Awards 2012, and played a West End season at the Apollo Theatre, starring Michael Crawford, in 2016.
His children’s books, many created with illustrator Richard Fowler, include Mole’s Bedtime Story, Funny Bunny’s Magic Show, and A Present For Father Christmas, and he regularly visits schools with the message ‘Books Are Fun!’. He also performs The David Wood Magic and Music Show in theatres all over the UK.
As an actor David played on stage opposite Sir Michael Redgrave in John Mortimer’s A Voyage Round My Father, on the big screen with Malcolm McDowell in Lindsay Anderson’s If … and on the small screen, starring opposite Shelley Winters in The Vamp. He is a Trustee (and former Chair) of Action for Children’s Arts and a Trustee of The Story Museum. In 2004 he was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.Go back