Alan Ayckbourn and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s notorious musical flop Jeeves is one of the topics in a new memoir by the actor and writer David Wood.
David played Bingo Little in the infamous 1975 West End production of Jeeves , based on P.G. Wodehouse’s famed books, and his memories of the musical are featured in a chapter within Elizabeth Taylor’s Kiss and Other Brushes With Hollywood.
In the memoir, David Wood recalls his ‘brushes with Hollywood’, notably being kissed on the lips by Elizabeth Taylor as midnight struck on his 22nd birthday; playing Richard Burton’s servant on stage in Dr Faustus; being seduced by Shelley Winters in The Vamp; singing songs and being shot down in flames as a Royal Flying Corps officer in the film Aces High; sharing the screen at sea in an oil rig supply vessel with Roger Moore, Anthony Perkins and James Mason in North Sea Hijack; penning the daytime Emmy-nominated BackHome; and writing The Queen’s Handbag to celebrate the Queen’s 80th birthday, performed in Buckingham Palace Gardens and seen live by 8,000,000 BBC TV viewers.
The musical Jeeves has an entire chapter dedicated to it called Tottering Towers in which David recalls his experiences in his second Ayckbourn flop – he previously appeared in the West End bound Me Times Me which never actually got into the West End – including hanging upside down from a chandelier in Jeeves and being rescued by David Hemmings, who played Bertie Wooster.
David Wood OBE is an actor, writer, playwright, composer and magician, who is perhaps best known as ‘the national children’s dramatist’ (The Times) and his 75 plays for children have been performed worldwide. They include The Gingerbread Man, The See-Saw Tree, eight Roald Dahl adaptations including The BFG, The Witches, the Olivier Award-winning Goodnight Mister Tom (from Michelle Magorian’s novel), and the Olivier Award-nominated The Tiger Who Came to Tea (from Judith Kerr’s book).
Elizabeth Taylor’s Kiss and Other Brushes With Hollywood is published by The Book Guild Ltd (ISBN 978-1914471902) and is available now priced at £9.99. It is available from Amazon by clicking here.