Calling all Noddy fans!

This post is really a request for help from any knowledgable Blyton fans out there.  I’ve been reading through the drafts of the Noddy plays which we have in the collection, and find myself a little bit stumped!

We bought a single lot of Noddy material, which contained drafts for several different works including one of the original Noddy story books, scripts for audio recordings, and scripts for two plays.  It’s the plays which are, at present, the cause of my confusion.  Both plays are entitled Noddy in Toyland, although the content is completely different.  One, a complete three-act play, appears to be the play published as Enid Blyton’s Book of her Famous play Noddy in Toyland

The other is incomplete, comprising only the first act of a play in two acts.  The first scene opens in “A dark wood, just before dawn” with “mysterious but happy music” as Big-Ears meets Noddy for the first time.  The title page of the play states “Music by Reginald Noel-Johnson  Scenery by Beek”.  Given that Harmsen van der Beek, the first illustrator to bring Noddy to life, died in 1953, this typescript must have been written earlier than 1953.  Which means it pre-dates the published three act play.  I have been unable to find any record of such a play being performed, and certainly no record of it having been published.  I can’t even say for sure if it was ever finished, or if one act was all that was ever completed.  Although, the mention of both music and scenery suggests it was at least performed, if not published.

I can trace no direct link between the incomplete, two-act play and the complete, three-act play except that they both feature Noddy and the other characters from Toyland.  If anyone reading this is able to shed any light at all on the mystery, it would be much appreciated!

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2 Responses to Calling all Noddy fans!

  1. Patricia Powell says:

    This is for Hannah Green, archivist, in reply to her message to all Noddy fans of November 15th 2010. I am the daughter of Reginald Noel-Johnson, who did write the music for the Noddy play, as well as for the first Noddy Songbook. He collaborated with Enid Blyton on the Songbook. The play was definitely put on – at The Victoria Palace Theatre in the 1950’s. I can’t remember any details about it in terms of two or three acts, etc but it was certainly staged. I hope this is helpful.

  2. Hi Patricia, lovely to hear from you! And your comment is helpful – I think the play which was performed at the Victoria Palace theatre, with music by your father, was the complete three act play. This was first performed in 1955, and I think the performance at the Victoria Palace theatre took place in 1958. I’m assuming it was the same play performed in 1958, although I had thought ‘Noddy in Toyland’ was only performed in 1955 and 1956, so this 1958 performance at the Victoria Palace is news to me! If you have any more information on the play, I’d be very interested to hear more.

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