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!