Geraldine: You were expecting a bloke. Beard, bible, bad breath? David: Yes, that sort of thing. Geraldine: Yeah…and instead you got a babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom.
After overcoming their shock at her gender, Geraldine’s parishioners take her to their heart. They include dim verger Alice Tinker, David Horton the pompous gentleman farmer, Hugo his dithery son, the incomprehensible Jim Trott, Frank the dull parish clerk, plain-talking farmer Owen Newitt and famously dreadful cook Letitia Cropley.
The Vicar of Dibley was one of the UK’s most successful comedies, with various Christmas and New Year specials entering the top 10 programmes of their year. It was named the UK’s third best sitcom in 2004. Its combination of gentle writing and belly laughs has always set it apart.
Report by: Peter Parlour (NODA Rep. District 6) on 2 August 2014 (edited) Venue: Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond Director: Kevan Fawkes
This was a superb performance of the very well-known TV Series. The characterisations were very much like the TV and the entire cast were really excellently portrayed. Geraldine, the vicar, was played by Ann Greer, and was a Dawn French double in every aspect. Her characterisation created the Dibley atmosphere throughout, and was indeed a great performance. Gary Winn played the old Farmer Owen Newitt, and again portrayed the well-known T V character absolutely faultlessly. He was excellent in this outstanding performance. Doug Clayton, as the Chairman, David Horton, played his best part to date with RADS and his command over everybody was excellent. The PCC Secretary, Frank Pickle, was very well played by Martin Ash. Another likeable character, Jim Trott was again in the complete mould, with Gerry Troughton portraying (no,no,no, yes) and he again was excellent. Alice Tinker, the dippy verger, was very well portrayed by Lucy Owens, who took the part only three weeks before opening night. Her characterisation was excellent. Hugo Horton, played by Jon Cunningham, was very well done indeed, being indeed the shy, reserved son of the Chairman. Moira Mason sat all night knitting, as the quiet PCC member, Letitia Cropley, and her overall performance was excellent. Richmond did a first class job in presenting this great laugh-a-minute play. The split stage set, with the committee room at the back, the vicarage at the front, was ideal. The wedding scene was really excellent, everybody really dressed up, including Owen, with Letitia at the organ. All was well until Julie Winn appeared but thankfully got to the wrong Church.
All the capacity audiences over the six nights would go home with aching sides due to all the laughter. This was indeed a show never to be forgotten. Very well done RADS.