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David Pibworth | The Blog


William Shakespeare At The Arches Theatre

Fun facts about the birthday bard ...

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With it being William Shakespeare's this Thursday (23rd April), I thought I would give you five interesting facts about two of his plays that our visiting theatre companies will be performing this summer at The Arches Theatre ...

Happy birthday to The Bard, William Shakespeare! (Joseph Fiennes did a very good job of portraying him in Shakespear In Love!)

Happy birthday to The Bard, William Shakespeare! (Joseph Fiennes did a very good job of portraying him in Shakespear In Love!)

copyright: universal pictures / miramax

Up first, we have A Midsummer Night's Dream, which will be staged by local troupe, Etcetera, from the 6th to the 8th of August.

  • The play inspired the musician, Felix Mendelssohn. He wrote the Wedding March in 1842.

  • The play was not performed in its entirety until the 1840s. Prior to this, adaptations that didn't use the original text were staged.

  • British astronomer William Herschel discovered two moons around Uranus in 1787 and named them after the play's characters, Titania and Oberon. There's also a moon named Puck which was discovered later.

  • Shakespeare took the name for his fairy queen, Titania, from the poem 'Metamorphoses' written by the Roman poet, Ovid.

  • Diarist, Samuel Pepys, first saw the play on the 29th of September 1662 and hated it. He said: "Then to the King's Theatre, where we saw A Midsummer's Night's Dream, which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life. I saw, I confess, some good dancing and some handsome women, which was all my pleasure."

Well, we love A Midsummer Night's Dream and I am positive you will enjoy this magical and fun stage adaptation too! Next, we have The Merchant of Venice performed by professional company, The Wet Mariners on 15th of August.

  • There are the only two recorded performances of the play during Shakespeare's lifetime. The first one was on February 10 1605, before King James I at court. The King enjoyed it so much that he asked for another show soon after.

  • The play has given us some incredibly famous phrases, including 'pound of flesh', 'with bated breath', 'all that glitters is not gold' and 'a blinking idiot'.

  • Shakespeare possibly invented the name Jessica - the name given to Shylock's daughter. The name did not exist before the play was written. It may have been spelt Jescha in Shakespeare's time.

  • Shakespeare's source and inspiration for the play may have been from an Italian tale in a collection called 'The Simpleton'.

  • As a convention of Elizabethan drama, the highest-ranking character gets to speak the last lines of the play. You will have to wait until August to find out who takes the last line!

Tickets are available for all shows on our website so why not celebrate the Bards birthday by purchasing tickets to one (or both) of these fantastic stage adaptations?

"Are you a current ticket holder?"

We are continuing to plan for our summer productions and hope that we can bring you great live theatre this August. We are keeping a close eye on the news and advice from the Government about the current situation and we will be able to make an informed decision nearer the time.

If we postpone the productions, you will have the choice to either keep your tickets until we reschedule the performance, or you can have a refund. We hope that we will not have to postpone shows, but we must ensure that we follow the Governments guidelines and keep our staff, performers and audience members safe.

Until next time ...


Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about The Arches Theatre, do give me a call on 01234 241357, leave a comment below or click here to ping over an email and let's see how I can help you..

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About David Pibworth ...


David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.

Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.

He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.

He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.

He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.

David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.