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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

Just Occasionally, One Has To Take A Day Off

But I need to get something off my chest ...



Occasionally, one has to take a day off. Neither my wife or I do very often other than for a week's holiday each year. We're both self-employed and what one may call reasonably successful ...

Hmmm ... booking fees? Why? I just want to take a day off with my family.

Hmmm ... booking fees? Why? I just want to take a day off with my family.

Julie runs a livery yard and I do stage hire, an online magic business, represent scripts, occasional acting roles, and now setting up and running a new theatre. You just don't take days off.

"However, on Sunday, as a family
we did just that. "

We went to the Cornbury Festival to see various bands including Andy Fairweather Low, and Squeeze ... both of whom were excellent. Julie had a few Pimms and the child and I stuck to the soft stuff.

However I still went around looking at the staging setups to see if I could possibly get in there next year with my staging and/or my comedy jazz band, so I never quite switch off as I don't want to.

We paid £80 each to get in (my daughter far less), but the one thing that always grates with me is the booking fees as it actually cost £89 with the £9 booking fee per ticket. I paid online with a debit card and just fetched up with the proof on my phone ... I just don't see what the £9 is for.

It's a constant niggle with me as it's a rip-off. I'm not blaming that festival, especially as everyone seems to do it. Except for me. I promoted 'no booking fees' with Milton Keynes Theatre of Comedy when I started that and I shall do it with The Arches Theatre too.

When I work out the price of a ticket I want the audience to know that the price they see advertised for the ticket is what they pay. But apart from all that, it was a good day.

It's just the extra £9 that irritated me.

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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