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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

The Taming Of The Shrew Cast Is Announced!

Welcoming the Etcetera theatre company ...

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I'm excited to have local theatre company 'Etcetera' join us at the Arches Theatre from 22-24 August with their stage adaptation of 'The Taming of The Shrew' ...

The cast have be rehearsing at The Arches Theatre!

The cast have be rehearsing at The Arches Theatre!

This is the first time that they have performed at our outdoor theatre and we can't wait to see their production, directed by Steve Bridgen and set in the UK of the 1930s. The director, cast and company have a wealth of knowledge and experience performing Shakespeare's great plays, with many having acted and directed local productions and others part of the legendary Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

"With this excellent Shakespearean background, this production is set to be unmissable!"

The feisty, bawdy and challenging Taming of the Shrew is a comic masterpiece that can divide audiences. This version of a battle of the sexes hinges on the instant attraction between Kate and Petruchio, a pair of outsiders in a world where style, looks and manners hold sway.

While pretty, demure Bianca attracts suitors like moths to a bulb - with hilarious consequences - her sister Kate is subjugated and forced to assert her independent spirit to command any attention.

As director Steve says, "Some consider Taming of the Shrew to be an exercise in misogyny, but I think it is about liberation, daring to be different and about passion. I've chosen to set the play in the 1930s, a time of economic and political turmoil, but also part of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  People turned to entertainment to escape from the depression and hardship of the time. Society continued to place expectations on women to find a suitable marriage, but the tide was turning."

The play within a play opens with young student Lucentio and his friend and servant Tranio arriving in the big city. They are there to study, but there are distractions of music and the arts ... and beautiful women!

Lucentio is soon smitten with Bianca, but he is just one in a queue of suitors. To win the maiden in a Shakespeare play often requires cross-dressing, subterfuge and role-swaps; there's no shortage of all three in The Taming of the Shrew!

You will just have to come along and find out who Bianca chooses!

Now, here is the bit you've been waiting for! Who is playing who?

  • Katherine - Tracy Watchorn

  • Petruccio - John Golden

  • Baptista (mother to Kate and Bianca) - Ann Skelly

  • Bianca - Grace Emiohe

  • Tranio - Andrew Gibbons

  • Lucentio - Finn Tyson

  • Gremio - Paul Wheeler

  • Hortensio - Michael Spours

  • Biondello - Samantha Bradford

  • Grumio and Vincentio - Bill Handley

  • Curtis/Huntsman – Ben Dards

  • Lord - Faisal Mohiuddin

  • Christopher Sly – David Pibworth - yes I am in this production!!

  • Merchant/Servants - Shirley Jones

  • Hostess, Haberdasher and Widow - Janthea Brigden

  • Bartholomew and other Servants – Carl Defriend

If there's someone there you recognise, do come and show them your support and grab yourself a ticket while you still can. If you have any queries or you'd like to know more, please get in touch.

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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