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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

The Arches Theatre: Final Tweaks And Little Changes

The first performance is nearly upon us ...



I've been pottering around down at the Arches Theatre making final tweaks and little changes and planning how we're going to run the opening night at next week's performance ...

I've been pottering around down at the Arches Theatre trying to decide which arch to use for what.

I've been pottering around down at the Arches Theatre trying to decide which arch to use for what.

Access is going to be the biggest issue. Although 4x4s won't have a problem getting down there, road cars would bottom out on some of the bumps in the track so I'm organising a car park and marking out a walking route to the theatre.

"I'm also thinking of switching around in which arch we're doing what."

People will need access to toilets and the bar, as well as the performance arch and one for the performers to get ready. I'm also thinking of raising the floor in the performance arch a little so the audience can see what's going on.

A friend suggested we put a bridge in over the River Ouse so people from Olney can get to the theatre rather than having to drive around to Clifton Reynes. It'd have to be a drawbridge though as I'm not sure I want people having access to the theatre when we're not putting on a show.

So, I'm very much looking forward to our first performance at the Arches Theatre next week. If you're coming along, don't forget to bring something to sit on. Although we're thinking of putting in some benches eventually, we're not there yet so you'll need to provide your own seating for now.

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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