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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

Anyone For Porridge?

On stage, not in a bowl ...

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After some time tracking down Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, I was finally able to ask them if I could put Porridge on stage ...

If you've ever wondered what Porridge would be like on stage, you'll soon find out!

If you've ever wondered what Porridge would be like on stage, you'll soon find out!

copyright: bbc / iplayer

They agreed (good chaps that they are), and so I now need to decide on the venue and the time; oh and the cast and which episodes to produce. For those of you who don't know Porridge, well, just go and watch it.

When we did Fawlty Towers we ended up doing all 12 episodes over a period of a few years. Had we known we were going to do all 12 we would have probably done them in a different order, but no matter, we sold out every show we did.

So, I'm currently looking through every episode (oh what a trial, see what I did there?) and of course we do need to establish that the characters are in prison and what they are like for those who haven't seen the show. An early episode will be required to kick off methinks.

Many younger people haven't seen it, of course, and I'm really looking forward to enlightening them!

It looks as though we will produce some time in 2020, and if you are interested in coming to see it, do go to, click 'Follow Us' and you can sign up to the newsletter.

But until then, don't forget we have Blackadder's Christmas Carol at The Chrysalis Theatre on the 4th-7th December, so get booking and see you there.

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like to find out more about our stage production of Porridge then do give me a call on 01234 241357 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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More 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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