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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

The Arches Theatre: Zoom-ing Ahead With Rehearsals!

Taking full advantage of the lockdown ...

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Posted by David Pibworth on 07/04/2020 @ 8:00AM

The amazing cast of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and I are taking full advantage of the lockdown to learn our lines thouroughly and rehearse for our August production at The Arches Theatre ...

We're rehearsing for The Arches Theatre production of 'A Midsummer's Night Dream' using Zoom!

We're rehearsing for The Arches Theatre production of 'A Midsummer's Night Dream' using Zoom!

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As you know we are thinking positively about our plans in bringing fantastic live theatre to our quirky outdoor stage at The Arches Theatre. The show must go on, as they say, so rehearsals must go on too. We obviously can't rehearse together at the moment like we normally would, so we are using the virtual world of Zoom video conferencing. It takes a little bit of getting used to.

"So far, it's working rather well!"

Director John Drinkwater, from Etcetera Theatre Company, virtually meets with the cast every Monday to run through our lines. We take it scene by scene, so only the actors needed for that section will join the call.

Many of the cast have already performed in professional and local Shakespeare productions, which certainly helps move rehearsals along. If you have ever read or performed a Shakespeare play, you will know that there is a lot to learn and it takes great discipline.

It also helps that we have John as the director. He has appeared in numerous Shakespeare plays including 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' at Courtyard Theatre for the R.S.C and starring as Oberon in an open-air production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'! John also directed the 'Pink Panther - A Shot in the Dark' at The Arches last year!

The difference with last year is that we were able to get together and rehearse at the venue. This time we can't so we are unable to carry out rehearsal blocking. This is where the Director and cast work through scenes and discuss staging and character movement, which brings the performance to life. Not being able to practise this element with your fellow cast member can get a little frustrating.

Thankfully, many of the cast have already performed on the outdoor stage, so they have an idea of what will work and what to expect. Plus, they know just how close the audience are! We're working extremely hard behind the scenes already, as we're dedicated to bringing you a magical summer show.

"It is a different experience for us all!"

It is something we are all feeling very positive about though so we'll keep you updated on how we are getting on. Tickets to 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' performed by Etcetera Theatre Group from 6-8 August at The Arches Theatre are available now via

Until next time ...



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About David Pibworth ...


David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions who provides entertainment for theatre and corporate events. This ties in very well with The Arches Theatre, an outside venue that David owns underneath a disused railway line, equidistant from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. This was one of the few venues that could operate with social distancing in place during the summer of 2020 and where they ran everything from Shakespeare to Richard Digance through the summer months.

David has been involved in light entertainment for many years, even going back as far as working on a production with Norman Wisdom in London. He has a knack of keeping in touch with everyone he's worked with and would bring such people as Chas and Dave, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk round to play locally when the chance arose.

His company also represent the stage rights for Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the writers of Steptoe and Son and Hancock's Half Hour. He has recently negotiated permission with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to produce Porridge on stage although this is all hampered by the current situation and the availability of theatres.

Next year, at the Arches Theatre, he will produce Ripping Yarns, written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. This will be an interesting production as not only does one episode involve playing a football match, but also with the agreement of Michael Palin and the wife of the late Terry Jones, it has been decided that all the profits on this production will go to a dementia charity as Terry Jones died as a result of dementia, as did David's father and uncle.