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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

A Weekend Of Sell Out Shows At The Arches Theatre

Even the weather couldn't stop us ...

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Posted by David Pibworth on 01/09/2020 @ 8:00AM

Storm Francis certainly didn't dampen our spirits last week, when he decided to give us torrential rain and high winds. Nothing stops us at The Arches Theatre, so we continued with a weekend of sell out shows ...

He's behind you! We've had a fabulous season at The Arches Theatre, but it's not quite over yet!

He's behind you! We've had a fabulous season at The Arches Theatre, but it's not quite over yet!

copyright: the arches theatre / david pibworth productions

We had the incredible Alistair Brammer with us on Thursday, who played to a crowd of 200+ hardy fans who travelled through the rain to enjoy this one night only concert! One lady had travelled all the way from Norwich to be with us, as she was so desperate to see a live musical theatre production again.

"We were very lucky with the weather as just before Alistair was due on stage, the sun came out and we even got a rainbow!"

It was a fantastic concert, with a range of songs from Chess, Les Mis and Miss Saigon. He gave some great anecdotes too. As well as a great artist, Alistair is also a really nice guy. He waited around to greet a long line of fans who all wanted their photos taken with him after the show. I really do hope that he will come back to play again.

Over the weekend we had our magical family pantomime, 'Aladdin'. Our cast of five local actors, Keith Lennox (Widow Twanky), Anna Wingerath (Aladdin), Charlotte Pask (Princess), Oliver Ravenhall (Narrator) and me as Abanazar/Genie - performed four shows over the two days to sell out audiences.

We got a lot of laughs, boos, chanting and shouting 'he's behind you' from children and adults alike. It was great script written by David Lovesy, Steve Clark and Damian Trasler of the Milton Keynes Theatre Of Comedy. We adapted the script as we rehearsed.

"I think we did tremendously well as we only started rehearsals the Tuesday before the show! We are very pleased with the outcome!"

On Bank holiday Monday we had Richard Digance with us. He gave us a fantastic intimate gig which included some new songs, some of his classics and of course the infamous audience participation! It was really fun night that we hope to recreate again.

Sadly, we are coming to the end of our run of outdoor theatre performances. But fear not, we do have one more show, which is 'Musicals in the Park' on Saturday 12th September. If you love musical theatre, then you will enjoy this. Created especially for The Arches Theatre, we have six West End artists performing a range of fast paced, high energy songs from well know musicals.

"We know you and your family will be
on your feet singing along!"

There's also a chance to join a West End dance workshop, which I think is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to get into the industry. Full details can be found by clicking here.

It's been a fantastic run so far. I am very proud of what we have achieved in just a short space of time.

Until next time ...



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About David Pibworth ...


David is the owner and Artistic Director of The Arches Theatre in Clifton Reynes near Milton Keynes. Productions are underneath some flood arches on the disused Midland railway line (Bedford to Northampton). It is equidistant from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. You bring your food, drink and chairs and enjoy the varied shows that are produced. This year - 2022 - there are 12 productions on throughout the season, from Shakespeare to Ripping Yarns plus a music weekend.

David has been involved in 'Light Ent' for many years, working with Ray Galton and Alan Simpson adapting the scripts of 'Steptoe and Son' and those of Tony Hancock to the stage. He has produced shows for Norman Wisdom (which makes him feel old), Al Murray, and Joe Pasquale amongst others, and also worked in the music business promoting and producing shows with Chas and Dave, Neil Inness, Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and others of that ilk.

He is also the director of a film school for young people in his home town of Olney as well as supporting many local events.

He recently negotiated permission from Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to stage a short run of 'Porridge' on stage which proved a success.

This year the annual charity performance at The Arches Theatre will be the last of 'Ripping Yarns' by Michael Palin and Terry Jones, with the profits being donated to The National Brain Appeal' for research into dementia as David's father and uncle died of it, as did Michael Palin's friend and writing partner Terry Jones. Last year they raised an astonishing £10,000 and are hoping to get somewhere close again with the support of audiences and sponsors.

David also has a stage hire company and his wife Julie runs a livery yard, so they are surrounded by horses, dogs, light entertainment and and a 17 year old daughter.

He plays in a comedy jazz band and collects strange props such as the Spitting Image puppets of Denis Thatcher and Alan Bennett, the child catchers bike from the stage show of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and various other 'things' all of which he sells to raise money for the Arches Theatre, although he always finds it hard to part from these props. However as the theatre receives no funding at all, he is always devising ways to keep it going! Sponsors are always welcome!


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