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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

The Arches Theatre: Great Expectations

Who's been to an outdoor theatre before?

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There are so many wonderful outdoor theatres in the UK, including The Minack in Cornwall, Regents Park in London, Grosvenor Park in Chester and The Willow Globe in Powys, Wales, home to The Wet Mariners ...

We have great expectations for the Arches Theatre this summer!

We have great expectations for the Arches Theatre this summer!

Each have their own identity and quirkiness, but all encompass this wonderful alfresco culture and experience loved by so many. In my mind, one of the best and most unique outdoor theatres sits right here in the rolling Buckinghamshire countryside.

"We have aimed to make The Arches Theatre an intimate and magical setting that'll be your annual summer treat!"

We want to be the best so we put on fantastic productions that will complement our venue; and we work with theatre companies, both local and from further afield, that we know will just wow our audiences. For us, it is about creating that unique experience that you won't get elsewhere.

It doesn't get much better than sitting comfortably in an idyllic and peaceful setting, watching a first-class live performance with friends and family, and a cooled glass of your favourite tipple in hand. The summer sun slowly sets, shedding warmth on your back and an orangey glow on the elegant arches before you ... a truly blissful way to pass a summers evening.

"Doesn't that sound fantastic? Our tickets are reasonably priced too, at just £15 per person with no hidden fees!"

To add to the experience, we encourage our audience to come early with a picnic and Prosecco (or whatever takes your fancy) and relax and soak up the atmosphere. This also takes that additional cost out of sky-high theatre drinks prices!

I spoke about the beautiful sunsets earlier. We may have had glorious weather last year, but of course, being in the UK you cannot guarantee we'll get it again. However, the show will go on come rain or shine, so make sure you pack for every eventuality!

I will put a little checklist together nearer the time on what to bring as we want you to have a memorable evening for all the right reasons. We don't want you to forget your cardigan and be cold and disappointed during the second half!

We can't wait to show you our outdoor theatre! It really is our little hidden gem! Have you got your tickets? What production are you most looking forward to? Visit to book your tickets for this year's season.

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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