Forum Speakers - Martin Drury & David Wood

Our list of conference presenters continues with...

Martin Drury
Arts Director for the Arts Council, Ireland
Founder-Director of The Ark, Dublin
Martin Drury holds a first class honors M.A. and a Higher Diploma in Education from University College Dublin. He has worked in the arts for over thirty years and has been Arts Director with the Arts Council (Ireland's national agency for funding and developing the arts) for the past five. He oversees the work of seven teams including Arts Participation; Local Arts; Young People, Children and Education; Venues; and Festivals. He is also convener of the Arts Council’s Policy and Strategy Committee. Since 1979 he has been variously a theatre director (with over twenty productions); Associate Director with the Abbey Theatre (Ireland's national theatre); Artistic Director of TEAM Educational Theatre; Founder-Director of The Ark (Europe’s only custom-designed arts centre for children); freelance cultural consultant; and author / editor of numerous reports and studies. He has published extensively in the fields of arts policy and arts education and has taught and lectured widely at home and abroad from small gatherings of parents to the World Summit on Arts and Culture.
David Wood
Playwright, Children's Author, Actor,
Director, Composer, Magician...
David Wood is called ‘the UK national children’s dramatist’ (The Times). At Oxford University in the 60’s he read English and began writing. He wrote his first play for children in 1967 and has since written seventy more. His book THEATRE FOR CHILDREN: GUIDE TO WRITING, ADAPTING, DIRECTING AND ACTING, published by Faber in the UK and Ivan Dee in the US, has become a set text both sides of the Atlantic. For 25 years he directed his own plays for his own company, Whirligig Theatre, that toured major UK theatres. His plays are performed worldwide, and include THE GINGERBREAD MAN, THE PLOTTERS OF CABBAGE PATCH CORNER, SAVE THE HUMAN and THE IDEAL GNOME EXPEDITION. Among his adaptations are eight Roald Dahl stories (THE BFG, THE TWITS, THE WITCHES, FANTASTIC MR FOX, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD, GEORGE’S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE and THE MAGIC FINGER), Eric Hill’s SPOT’S BIRTHDAY PARTY, HRH the Prince of Wales’ THE OLD MAN OF LOCHNAGAR, Philip Pullman’s CLOCKWORK, Judith Kerr’s THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA (nominated for an Olivier award 2012),Sam McBratney’s GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU, Michelle Magorian’s GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM and the award-winning TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN (from Philippa Pearce’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. He was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2004. He is the Chair of Action for Children’s Arts. His acting career continued alongside his playwriting and directing. On stage he played opposite Sir Michael Redgrave in A VOYAGE ROUND MY FATHER, on television he co-starred with Shelley Winters in THE VAMP, and on film, in Lindsay Anderson’s IF…. he and Malcolm McDowell played the two rebel schoolboys. Visit his website at