Born in Bristol, England into a family with equestrian genes - supposedly (and still trying to find out how) related to Pat Smythe, the first British female Olympic rider (Stockholm 1956) - and with a writing bug inherited from his maternal line - a great aunt, Jan Struther (Joyce Anstruther) wrote the celebrated classic "Mrs. Miniver" - he was educated in Bristol (Clifton College) and graduated with a Degree in Education from the University of Exeter (St. Luke's College).
At St. Luke's, under the skilled coach, B.B. Ella, he coxed the College 1st IV boat for two years. A great uncle - Leslie Wormald - was an oarsman in the British gold-medal-winning VIII of the 1912 Olympics, also held in Stockholm and a relative by marriage - Carl Bonde of Sweden - Bonde/Anstruther family marriage, 1911 - was the gold medal winner in the Dressage division of the equestrian events in that same Olympic year. (Bonde family of Bosjökloster).
Although missing out on élite sporting genes, he did captain an unbeaten rugby union XV in 1964; but he has ridden horses all his life and was taught to ride by Pat Smythe (amongst others) at Sudgrove House, Miserden, in the 1950s. The closest he has come to the Olympics was in Sydney 2000 when he directed a sporting little production of Purcell's opera. 'Dido & Aeneas' as part of the St. Andrew's Cathedral Olympic Arts Program. This production has since been placed under contract.
Over the years, he has developed a career as a specialist drama teacher, freelance writer and stage director. In 1975 he co-wrote the libretto for 'The Ballad of Salomon Pavey', an Elizabethan Ballad Opera, set in the late 1500s and based on the theatrical exploits of Queen Elizabeth Ist's Children of The Chapel Royal. They, with the boys of St. Paul's, were serious revenue rivals to William Shakespeare's company in the hey-day of their popularity - a popularity which lasted some twenty five years.
Winning a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1976, 'The Ballad of Salomon Pavey' was chosen as one of the Queen's Silver Jubilee Celebration productions (Young Vic 1977) and was subsequently adapted for television by Jeremy James Taylor and broadcast by ATV Network (U.K.) in December 1977. It was published by Oxford University Press in 1979 and re-issued by Josef Weinberger (London) in 1989. In 1996 Salomon Pavey was staged as part of Norwich Cathedral's "900 years" celebration and later produced by the National Youth Music Theatre of Great Britain in October 1999 at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London, for the launch of the theatre's "Globe 400" Education Season.
As serendipidy sometimes dictates, a number of Elizabethans associated with the era of this play were later found to be direct or collateral ancestors, via Lord William Manners (in the maternal line) - including the renowned 3rd. Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare's patron) and Edward de Vere - 17th Earl of Oxford, patron of the Chapel Children!
Head of English and Drama at a large middle school in North London for several years prior to settling in Sydney in 1988, David Drew-Smythe has written for stage and screen and has also published articles, poetry and short stories. In 1999 he was involved in the development of units of work for the Drama section of the new primary (K-6) Creative and Practical Arts syllabus for the N.S.W. Office of The Board of Studies. More recently, he has developed specialist web pages and has devised technology testing material for the NSW Department of Education and Training.
David has been involved with many freelance writing, development and research projects. For 2002 and 2003, he was the recipient of a Merit Award from the International Society of Poets in America; his work has been produced in book anthologies and on CD by that organisation. David's poem, "Avalon" (2006) was an awarded work. His short story titled The Farmer's Daughter, was published in the United States as part of an anthology by The Fiction Works (Bell Ringer Series - "Tell Me of Love" volume) - a project designed for adult literacy and language markets. The anthology is available for world-wide distribution in simultaneous printed book, e-book and audio formats - the latter as a dramatised version. Published in 2007 (October) by The Fiction Works was David's most recent project, "The Private e-mails of William Shakespeare".