Babes in the Magic Wood

by  David Wood

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  12boy(s) or girl(s)

The British master of children's theatre has adapted this enchanting fairytale into a lively stage adventure with charming, original songs.

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Babes in the Magic Wood

by  David Wood

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    12boy(s) or girl(s)
  • Duration

    Duration

    75 Minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Fantasy, Theatre for Young Audiences, Christmas/Holiday
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Children (Age 6 - 10)
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)

Additional Info

Babes In The Magic Wood has an original storyline, and does not resemble the usual pantomime versions. Widow Crockett and her babes, Simple Simon and Contrary Mary, run a toyshop, their biggest job being the making of toys for Father Christmas’s order.

One Christmas Eve they are very behind with their work and wish their Fairy Godmother could help. She appears and, under her spell, three magic toys, Jack-in-the-Box, Ragdoll and Clockwork Panda, finish the job while the Crockett family are asleep. Later the rascally robbers Pick and Nick see a chance, impersonating Father Christmas, to grab the toys for themselves. They are foiled, but much more perilous dangers follow. The Fairy Godmother turns out to be a wicked Superwitch, who almost makes a cauldron meal of the children in the Magic Wood.

After many adventures the children, aided by the magic toys, and a clever donkey, triumph. They find themselves back in the toyshop – and it was all a dream. But was it? The magic toys have the last word.

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Reviews

REVIEWS

“A fantastic confection of charm, wit and musical fun… the creation of another magic Wood – multi-talented writer David Wood.” - Romford Observer

“It’s got just about the lot … the script, by children’s show doyen, David Wood, has Widow Crockett and her ‘Babes’, Simple Simon and Contrary Mary making toys for Father Christmas. But this year the toys are stolen and so starts a chase through the Magic Wood and a host of adventures.” - Wythenshawe World

“Storywise it contains the author’s inventiveness … hilarious ... the youngsters in the audience love the three life-size toys which come alive – Jack-in-the-Box, the Ragdoll and, best of all, a very cuddly Panda.” - The Stage

Videos

  • David Wood on Doing It Yourself
  • David Wood on Getting Started As a Playwright
  • David Wood on Challenges In His Plays
  • Interview with David Wood
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Community Theatre

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Duration: 75 Minutes
  • Additional Features: Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

12boy(s) or girl(s)
WIDOW CROCKETT - Traditional loable 'Dame' character; runs a toyshop with her son and daughter
SIMPLE SIMON - One of the 'Babes;' appealingly ineffectual
CONTRARY MARY - One of the 'Babes;' impetuous and fearless but never willful
JACK-IN-THE-BOX - A bouncy toy, made of springs and things
RAGDOLL - A recognizable doll stuffed with old rags which make her limbs pliable and movement floppy
CLOCKWORK PANDA - Toy panda with key in it's back; can 'talk' in teddy bear-type noises by pressing its tummy
A DONKEY - Played by two people, mute but for braying
PICK and NICK- The robbers, traditionally one stupid and one dominating
FAIRY GODMOTHER/SUPERWITCH - A Fairy Godmother, dressed in black, who turns into Superwitch, entirely dressed in white with a white flashinf broomstick. Evil child-eating super yet traditional villainess
SUPER MOG - Her white cat
FATHER CHRISTMAS - Traditional image
SUPERDOG - A very brief appearance (seconds, not minutes) of a yappiong whie dog; could be a real dog or a toy
VICART/CAROL SINGERS/SHOPPERS
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras

Casting Notes

FATHER CHRISTMAS could be doubled by SUPERDOG.

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Authors

David Wood

David Wood has been called "the national children’s dramatist" (London Times). His plays are performed worldwide, and include The Gingerbread Man, The Plotters of Cabbage Patch Corner, Save the Human, Aladdin, Hijack Over Hygenia, Jack the Lad, Larry the Lamb in Toytown, Old Mother Hubbard and The Ideal Gnome Expeditio ...

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Following its premiere at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch in 1978, Babes In The Magic Wood was presented at the Forum, Wythenshawe (Manchester Library Theatre Company). There have been many amateur productions, and a major foreign production at the Koninklijk Jeugd-theater in Antwerp.

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