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David Gooderson: Playwright, Actor
Drama Tutor

David Gooderson – Playwright, Actor…

About David

David Gooderson (playwright, actor, director...)Comedy with the Cambridge Footlights, playing the scariest monster in Dr Who, penning searing drama about the Great War and the Holocaust – London-based David Gooderson has combined all these and much more in his career as playwright, actor, director, and drama tutor.

David's recent work (below)


David’s stage plays (summaries) tell true stories that are powerful and resonant for today, receiving critical acclaim such as:


Alan Bennett on The Killing of Mr Toad.

David’s plays for children (stage play summaries) include two adaptations of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows:

David has also written a number of plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4. His play Walk or Die was repeated on Radio 4 Extra on 30th April 2022.


Best known as Davros in Dr Who and Simpkins the Pathologist in A Touch of Frost, David is one of the most versatile character actors in the UK. His credits range from playing a “parcel” in a TV commercial to King Lear …more.


David started by directing J.M.Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World at Salisbury Playhouse, starring Stephanie Cole. More recently he has directed Oliver Gray's version of Robin Hood (Farnham Maltings) and his own play So Great a Crime (Finborough Theatre, London) …more.

Drama Tutoring

For twenty-one years David was the Radio Tutor at Guildford School of Acting. He prepared students for the prestigious BBC Carleton Hobbs Radio Drama Award and had several winners. He is currently directing courses in Acting for Radio and Podcast Dramas at the City Literary Institute in Central London.

Recent Work

In 2015 David's play Hector (aka So Great a Crime) went on a UK tour, ending at the Ambassadors Theatre, London.

In 2020 David played Stan Holloway (a grateful patient bringing an unusual present) in A Good Friend, episode 133 of Doctors on BBC1.

In December 2021 David played Reg in Up and Out Crew Go Skydiving a radio drama written and directed by Rose Mac (Emzfit).

In March 2023 RAVA Productions toured David’s short version of The Wind in the Willows to 22 dates in Western Australia.

In September 2023 David went to Romania as a Radio Tutor on a European Audio Drama Summer Project.

In November 2023 Farnham Rep will present a script-in-hand performance of David’s new play Almost a Hero at the Phoenix Theatre, Bordon.

David's Stage Plays

Stage Plays

  • Actor Stuart McGugan (Hector MacDonald) in a scene from David Gooderson's play 'So Great a Crime'Hector (originally So Great a Crime) – the true story of Sir Hector Macdonald, the famous Scottish general “Fighting Mac”, who was destroyed by accusations of liaisons with young boys.
  • Actor Leo Conville (Toad in David Gooderson's play 'The Killing of Mr. Toad'). Photo: Ruth HallThe Killing of Mr Toad – the extraordinary true story behind The Wind in the Willows.
  • For play about Studdert Kennedy: British soldiers in profile, First World WarWar! Lies! And a Packet of Fags! – the Great War and its aftermath–the true story of “Woodbine Willie”.
  •  Play's poster showing Maximilian Kolbe closeup. Design: Peter AshcroftKolbe's Gift – the inspiring true story of St. Maximilian Kolbe and his self-sacrifice in Auschwitz.
  • William Cowper, by Romney (National Portrait Gallery, London), the subject of the playThe Castaway – a one-man play about William Cowper, who wrote a comic masterpiece, a favourite hymn and died in lonely despair.

Stage Plays for Young People

  • Andreas Frohlich, the subject of David good's play QuarryQuarry - the true story of a teenager, Andreas Frohlich, caught up in the Holocaust.
  •  Toad (part): illustration by Tony Ross for The Wind in the Willows at the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, LondonThe Wind in the Willows – fast-moving, 50-minute, 4-actor version with chases, songs and audience participation.

Plays co-written with David Conville:

  • The Wind in the Willows – full-length adaptation – all the fun of Kenneth Grahame’s famous story with songs by celebrated composer Carl Davis.
  • Kids of Sherwood – kids on an outing are whisked back in time to the days of Robin Hood.
  • Kids of the Wild West – kids in a theme park tamper with a time machine which plunges them into an adventure of the American West.
  • The Curse of the Egyptian Mummy – adapted from the novel by Pat Hutchins – a body, a deadly snake, the Cub Scouts’ weekend in the country is fun-filled and action-packed.
  • The Mona Lisa Mystery – adapted from the novel by Pat Hutchins – cops, crooks and disguises galore on a school trip to Paris.

Play Scripts & Other Publications

  • My Dearest MouseThe Wind in the Willows letters by Kenneth Grahame. Introduction and notes by David Gooderson. Pavilion Books, 1988.
  • The Curse of the Egyptian Mummy – adapted by David Conville and David Gooderson from the novel by Pat Hutchins. Samuel French, 1993.
  • The Killing of Mr Toad – stage play by David Gooderson. Finborough Theatre, 2009 (copies available from David, via the e-mail link below).
  • So Great a Crime – stage play by David Gooderson. Oberon Books, 2012.
  • The Real Kenneth Grahame – the new biography by Elisabeth Galvin with a foreword by David Gooderson. Pen & Sword, 2021.

To Contact David

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