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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

The Pink Panther: The Real Diamonds Of Our Show!

A variety of individuals all with differing acting experiences ...

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Our rehearsals for 'The Pink Panther - A Shot in the Dark' at The Arches Theatre are well and truly in full swing ...

It may just look like a bunch of people hanging out under a railway arch, but we were rehearsing The Pink Panther - A Shot In The Dark!

It may just look like a bunch of people hanging out under a railway arch, but we were rehearsing The Pink Panther - A Shot In The Dark!

copyright: the arches theatre

The new cast of 'MKTOC at The Arches' held their first rehearsal at our open-air theatre last Tuesday. You may have seen a few pictures that we've shared on social media.

"It was what we call a rehearsal blocking!"

This means that the shows Director, John Drinkwater, and members of the cast go through certain scenes to discuss and work out moves, along with other vital elements that look great on stage and create dramatic - and in this case comical - impact.

It is very much like choreographing a dance. The Director focussed on the fight scene between Inspector Clouseau and his trusty manservant Cato. It involved some nifty footwork, martial arts and some curious sounds from Cato!

It was the first time that many of the troupe had been to the venue, so it gave them a good feel for what to expect. Some felt quite daunted when they found out how close the audience will be to the stage.

But that's what's great about shows at The Arches Theatre for both the actors and the audience - getting totally immersed and feeling part of a fantastic performance.

We have named this troupe 'Milton Keynes Theatre of Comedy (MKTOC) at The Arches' as it is an extension of the premier comedy group MKTOC, which some of you may know that I am involved in. This new company, but will only perform at The Arches Theatre. It is made up of a variety of individuals all with differing acting experiences - some are professional, some not and some are acting for the very first time.

It has been a great experience so far, and if you are coming to see The Pink Panther - A Shot In The Dark on 15th-17th August, then you are in for a great evening. We'll be sharing more photos from our rehearsals and introducing our stars! Tickets are available via

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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