Book Review: Name Dropping in the Wings

David Collison ~ Name Dropping in the Wings


A light-hearted memoir of a young stage manager who – quite by chance – became the first person to be called a Theatre Sound Designer. His rise to the top of his profession encapsulates thirty years of theatre history from Waiting for Godot to Jesus Christ Superstar, from Stephen Sondheim to Sir Laurence Olivier, from the West End to Las Vegas.

The book is full of personal anecdotes, and many illustrious names are dropped including Bing Crosby, Elizabeth Taylor, Judi Dench, John Gielgud, Michael Crawford, Rex Harrison, Lionel Bart, Stephen Sondheim… to name but a few.


A backstage hero takes centre stage with a memoir about his career. And what a career it was…

Yes he met a lot of famous people, but that isn’t what makes this book interesting. The history of theatre unfolds over time, with insight into scenery, lighting and sound before the world turned digital.

From Shakespeare to Beckett, there are some amazing plays and musicals referenced. I’d love to see the musical Blitz and Collison brings it to life so well you can really see and hear the production.

The people he meets during his career include many people whose biographies I’ve read, including Kenneth Williams, Julie Andrews and Maggie Smith; these actors’ stories are so unique, and I wish I could have been a part of it.

The story alone would have pleased me, but Collison includes photographs and images to enhance his story and show how much the world of theatre has changed over time.

Light-hearted, insightful and well-written, Name Dropping in the Wings is a fantastic memoir that I shall read over and over again.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received a PDF copy from Love Books Tours. All opinions my own.

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