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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

Sparks Olney: Slapstick And Custard Pies

The art of Buster Keaton ...

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Posted by David Pibworth on 08/02/2022 @ 8:00AM

Over the last two weeks, we have introduced our young filmmakers to a new genre - slapstick. This type of comedy is based on physical comedy and visual jokes, which has broad humour to be able to appeal to a wider audience and hook more people in ...

We also had a go at creating our own slapstick, which involved throwing custard pies at each other!

We also had a go at creating our own slapstick, which involved throwing custard pies at each other!

copyright: sparks olney

There are two parts to making a great film that includes slapstick. Firstly, having well thought out scenes with strong comedy content and secondly, good knowledge of different camera techniques and movements.

To show our crew strong comedy content we took them through some famous slapstick scenes from the likes of Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy. We also had a go at creating our own slapstick, which involved throwing custard pies at each other!

We got hands-on with the camera to get used to a range of shots, from the push-ins to the reveal, so the crew could start thinking about which ones would help them create a film with hilarious comedic effect. We're looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

This week our teams pitched their ideas to each other for their Double Act films. They had some extremely creative ideas, which we will share with you very soon so watch this space.

"If you like the sound of our film school, why not
come along and join in the fun?"

You can join our weekly filmmaking course at any point. Our expert team will get you up to speed and have you custard pie-ing the others in no time! We meet every Sunday from 10am until 12pm at The Olney Centre. Or how about trying our Easter Workshop from 8-12 April 2022? This weeklong course will be jampacked with hands-on learning in a fun and supportive environment.

For full details of our workshops and to book yourself a place, please take a look at our website.

Until next time ...



Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about slapstick at Sparks Olney, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 01234 241357 and let's see how I can help.

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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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