The Vicar of Dibley - Review
NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association)Review by Hazel Hole
The Vicar of Dibley
Title: The Vicar of Dibley by Ian Gower and Paul Carpenter
This production was adapted from the original TV series and follows the appointment of Geraldine as Vicar through to the wedding of Alice and Hugo. Whilst the characters will be familiar to most people, the cast managed to put their own interpretations into the roles. This was a sparkling production from a talented group which was greatly appreciated by the audience.
I was warmly welcomed by Margaret Coleman, Box Office and met with the Director, Simon Reader and his assistant, Lewis Rodger after the performance. The actors were extremely well cast. Caroline Thomas, playing the Vicar Geraldine Granger was the image of Dawn French and injected the same bubbly energy into the role which she carried off so well. Katherine Johnson, playing Alice Tinker, was a charming, lovable and somewhat scatterbrained verger. Rob Porter ,as the stuttering Jim Trott, was superb, as was Richard Kemp-Luck as Owen Newitt, a rather coarse and down to earth farmer. Andrew Dace, as David Horton, the Chairman of the Church Council was suitably frustrated but tolerant of the varied persons at the meetings and Jordan Brown, as his son Hugo acted out his part as a very anxious and unsure suitor to Alice very convincingly. Greg McDowell was the slow and ponderous Frank Pickle, obsessed with procedures and detail. The cast was completed by Linda Potter as Letitia Copley who was flambuoyant, confused and constantly misunderstanding what was happening whilst throwing in odd comments to the meeting. Both Greg and Linda played these roles really well.
It was great to see Megan Day (makeup) and Graham Green (hair) on stage albeit skillfully disguised as animal bridesmaids. Also Chrissie Donegan (wardrobe) in a bit part as the woman. Chrissie, assisted by Maree Noons was responsible for the costumes which all really reflected the different characters so well. Set construction was by Simon Reader and very clever use was made of the small ‘stage area ’with two separate rooms divided by a door. Imaginative use of lighting (Greg Potter) during set changes, and good use of a small number of props (Margaret Coleman, also Stage Manager) enhanced the production. I especially liked the way that the set changed from Village Hall to the Vicar’s study with so little movement. A real feature was made by the window area, showing the bridal feast !
Both the cast and the ‘creatives’ team were totally on top of their roles and I congratulate everyone involved in this production for their enthusiasm and energy.
I look forward to their next production.