My first meeting with them was to discuss the printing on canvas of the 'Fallen Madonna with Ze Big Boobies'. Yes, that's the painting from Allo Allo. My company is involved in supplying the props to the stage show productions of the TV show.
"It is one of the most produced stage shows in the UK and they all need props."
People had done paper prints of the Fallen Madonna which not only get ripped on stage but don't look that realistic. So I decided that something should be made better, and the easiest way was to just put them onto canvas as a real painting would be crafted.
We started with about 20 as each stage show needs 2 of them. Also, I found that theatre companies didn't want to rent them, but to buy them, as they were so good that they were always given away to the director or cast as a gift at the end of the show.
Things moved on, I got them printed onto canvas and I put them on my web site for sale. Now, the stage versions don't have a border and I found that people were buying them as a present for Allo Allo fans (of which there are many), to put up at home or in the loo in a frame, so we now have two types. Those without the borders for the stage and those with an inch of white border so that they can be framed.
We also needed to have swastika armbands made, also for the stage version. These are not on sale to the public needless to say. They are made oversized so that they are slightly comic and therefore not likely to be used by loonies from the BNP or whatever they call themselves these days.
Each stage production uses about five, depending on how many actors they have in those scenes. I've only had one case of someone wanting 100 and he didn't sound overly luvvie on the phone.
I quizzed him on how many actors he was using for the scenes and he didn't give a great reply. I just said I would be delighted to supply them and would send him an invoice and they would be delivered to the theatre where the production was playing in time for the technical rehearsals ... and he hung up.
"My most recent trip to the designers was to have £10 notes made for magic tricks."
Now we go to a different area as there are rules and regulations about printing currency. While the government may call it quantitative easing and bung new notes out when things get sticky, it's not so simple for the honest citizen. They have to have 'sample' written on them and clearly not be made from the type of paper the Royal Mint use.
Anyway, we have succeeded - legally - in this endeavour, and you can see them here as demo'd in a transformation box gag:
So each time I walk into the designers, I think they're quite pleased to see me, but I always get the feeling that after I've gone, they pore quite thoroughly through the legal definition of 'Accessory to the Fact'.
"But they have nothing to fear."
As in all other aspects of my life, I'm only ever trying to cheer people up. Have a look at my website for this and other fun.
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.
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