David Wood (actor)

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David Wood
BornDavid Bernard
(1944-02-21) 21 February 1944 (age 77)
Sutton, Surrey, England
EducationChichester High School for Boys
Alma materWorcester College, Oxford
GenreChildren's literature
Notable worksThe Gingerbread Man (1976)
Notable awardsOrder of the British Empire
SpouseSheila Ruskin (1966-1970) (divorced)[1]
Jacqueline Stanbury (m.1975)

David Bernard Wood, OBE (born 21 February 1944 in Sutton, Surrey, England) is an actor, author, composer, magician and stage producer and director. The Times called him "the National Children's Dramatist".[2]

Early life[edit]

He was educated at Chichester High School for Boys and Worcester College, Oxford.

Stage work[edit]

Along with John Gould, he founded the Whirligig Theatre, a touring children's theatre company.[3]

His most famous story, The Gingerbread Man (1976), has been all across the world since its premiere at the Towngate Theatre in Basildon. Wood, FilmFair, and Central adapted the musical into an animated children's television series. The adaptation, also called The Gingerbread Man, aired on ITV in 1992.

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2004 Queen's Birthday Honours List, for his services to literature and drama.

Film career[edit]

Among his film roles are Johnny in Lindsay Anderson's If.... (1968) and Thompson in Aces High (1976). He appeared as the character Bingo Little in the original London cast of the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Ayckbourn musical Jeeves in 1975.

He wrote the screenplay for the 1974 adaptation of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons, released by Anglo EMI.


(incomplete list)

Original works:

Adaptations of Roald Dahl's books for children:

Other adaptations of English authors of children's literature:

Adaptations of adult literature:


Year Title Role Notes
1968 if.... Johnny: Crusaders
1973 Tales That Witness Madness Tutor - Phillipe (segment 1 "Mr. Tiger")
1976 Aces High Thompson
1980 North Sea Hijack Herring
1980 Sweet William Vicar


  1. ^ "All About Me - David Wood".
  2. ^ David Wood: The National Children's Dramatist
  3. ^ Wood, David; Grant, Janet (15 March 1999). Theatre for Children: A Guide to Writing, Adapting, Directing, and Acting. Ivan R. Dee. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-1-4616-6449-9. Retrieved 27 March 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Lyn Gardner, The Go-Between – review, The Guardian, 19 September 2011


Further reading[edit]

  • David Wood with Janet Grant (1997), Theatre for Children: A Guide to Writing, Adapting, Directing, and Acting. London : Faber and Faber. ISBN 0571177492 -- The introduction (pages xiv to xxiv) includes an overview of Wood's early career.
  • David Wood (1999/2014), Plays 1. London: Methuen ISBN 1472536878
  • David Wood (1999/2014), Plays 2. London: Methuen ISBN 1472536886
  • David Wood (2018), Filming If.... Book Guild Publishing. ISBN 1912575388

External links[edit]