As part of our Meet the Makers of ‘I Am Baba’ Series, we got to know the cast and crew a bit more. This time it’s composer: David Goodall

Can you tell us a little bit about your background, where you are from ?
I grew up in North East Fife in Scotland. Rural. Nice. I went to school in St. Andrews, so there was golf, and there were students forced to walk around in gowns. There was also the granddaughter of JRR Tolkien, but at no point did she speak Elvish, disappear or do anything remotely like the books. From there I went to University in Glasgow for what was effectively a few months off and on between touring a play around Britain. Then a spell in London, then the US, then Glasgow, then a small village called Lesmahagow, which nobody knows how to spell on the phone.

Could you tell us a little about your journey into the arts and how it all happened for you?
I was all set to teach languages in the RAF, when somebody in a school play broke their arm – not deliberately. I think. I was asked to stand in for them, and thereafter it seemed a lot better than having to actually work. I sort of muddled along between doing the different things I do, occasionally being asked to do something else (possibly just to get rid of me), and adding that next thing to my list of “will work as…” Now I take great delight in doing different jobs all over the place; sometimes meeting two people who have no idea they were talking of the same person, as they only know me for the one job title.

Where do you find creative inspiration, have you any particular idols, role models?
I find that if I read a script, get a brief or see a film, I can generally let it all stew. I get on with other things – going for a walk or a swim – and rely on the elves at the back of my head having done most of the work by the time I sit down to get on with it. It’s a hangover from school days: if an essay was started before the day it was due, I was being ludicrously diligent. Role models are too numerous, but I’ll stick with Tony Visconti, Bowie, Sparks, Mozart and Fauré in terms of music and attitude (Mozart not so much on the attitude front).

If you hadn’t been in ‘showbusiness’, what would you have done?
Well – I’d like to think I’d have been teaching languages, or working as a chef (the only thing I’m properly trained in, unless you count apprentice electrician). But my old headteacher apparently – after I’d left school for new adventures – said to the entire staff room: “There’s a lad who will die selling guns in the Lebanon” It’s a funny old world.

What is your role in I am Baba?
I’m writing the music for IamBaba. I am teaching the music – musical director, I suppose. On no account whatsoever will I be singing the music.

Do you remember your first visit to the theatre, can you describe it for us?
I remember the first film I went to see – Paint Your Wagon. There was an interval. It might have been some years ago. The first bit of theatre was – I think – a pantomime with Stanley Baxter. I remember one thing: “Seeza punna burra furra murra; seeza barra choaclit furra wain”

Welcome to Glasgow!

What was your favourite TV programme as a child?
Early years it was Listen With Mother. Thereafter I think it was The Herbs.


I AM BABA is commissioned under Exploring and Thinking: A Collaborative Framework for Early Childhood Arts in the Dublin region. Exploring and Thinking is an initiative generated in partnership by Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. It is funded under the Arts Council’s Invitation to Collaboration