Last weekend was another fantastic few days of live theatre at our outdoor venue that our audiences could really sink their teeth into. 'Dracula' and 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' performed by the professional troupe, British Touring Shakespeare, were a huge hit over the bank holiday ...
We had fun with the Merry Wives and Dracula and now it's the turn of Ripping Yarns!
We had a lot of fun, laughter, fangs and blood - what more could you want? The atmospheric backdrop of The Arches certainly aided the creepy and chilling evening productions of 'Dracula'. The added bats darting about also helped.
"Get ready to laugh yourselves silly with our last production!"
Sadly, we are reaching the last weekend of our summer season of outdoor theatre. To finish the run, local comedy troupe, The Milton Keynes Theatre of Comedy (MKTOC), return from the 1st to the 3rd of September with its last instalment of Ripping Yarns created by Michael Palin and Terry Jones of Monty Python fame.
Join us for three more adventures of Ripping Yarns - the Boy's Own adventure parodies:
'The Curse Of The Claw': A strange Burmese relic carries a terrible curse that our hero tries to lift to save his family.
'Murder At Moorstones': Hugo and Dora drive down to see Mumsie and Dadsie-pie for a long weekend in the country. But their top-hole weekend turns out to be longer than they thought.
'Whinfrey's Last Case': Set in 1913, Britain's greatest (and overworked) secret agent takes a much-needed holiday to Cornwall and uncovers a German invasion plot.
Like last year, all profits and contributions from these performances will be donated to The National Brain Appeal's capital appeal to raise money for The Rare Dementia Support Centre, the world's first centre of excellence for rarer dementias. Last time we raised £10,000.
Michael Palin has been in touch to say, "I'm delighted to hear that the legendary Arches Theatre will continue to carry a torch for the Ripping Yarns, which Terry Jones and I so much enjoyed writing. To know that the money from ticket sales will go to the National Brain Appeal, in addition to what you've already raised, is both generous and hugely appreciated.
The team at the National Hospital did so much to help Terry and his family understand his condition and I know that Terry, my dearly-missed co-author, would be as rippingly delighted as myself that three more of our Yarns will be seen at the Arches Theatre this year.
On behalf of Terry, his first wife Alison, and myself we thank all those taking part, all the production team and most of all you, the audience, for helping the work of the National Brain Appeal.
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about Ripping Yarns at The Arches Theatre, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 01234 241357 and let's see how I can help.
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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