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THE VICAR OF DIBLEY


This was a very amusing and sometimes feisty look at Dibley 10 years on from when the villagers first got to know Geraldine.  I must admit I found the whole play very fragmented, and did not like the fact that there was no natural flow to it.  That said I really enjoyed the performances.


The set was well designed and thought out by Gary Nash, I particularly liked the church window flat, and it was in keeping with the overall feel of the piece and memory of the actual TV programme.  I was a little perturbed at the number of blackouts, and would have liked more to have been achieved by lighting, but I appreciate the difficulty when so many scenes were just snapshots.


The lighting achieved the aim of giving each scene its own look.


I loved the small touches, like the bar of chocolate hidden in the bible for example.  


The play started well with a situation that made the audience laugh within about 2 minutes, and set the scene for us to be able to react to the cast and their situations.


I liked that fact that the characters were all recognisable, but that no-one was attempting to do a direct impersonation.  It was well cast, and the direction from John O’Leary brought the words to life, even though there weren’t many scenes when we actually got any depth of action.


The (dream) sequence when Geraldine was officiating at Harry’s wedding was extremely funny and well played by all concerned.  The music used was very good.


Katy Elliott made Geraldine a good 3-dimensional character, I liked her portrayal, lots of well-managed highs and lows, and I loved the fact that her real first name was Boadicea!  The rather wry relationship between Geraldine and Alice was good, and I enjoyed their banter.  I also liked the rather swift developing relationship between Harry (James Driver) and Geraldine, very nicely managed by two experienced actors, making me feel really happy that Geraldine had at last found someone to care for her.  James made Harry very believable, I felt reassured that he would make Geraldine happy!


Chloe Badham created a lovely Alice, with some very funny lines that she delivered well.  I also liked the obviously caring relationship between Alice and Hugo, played by Luke Murphy.  He got the essence of the slightly more worldly-wise man, but in tune with the rather fey Alice.


Tim Hayden (Owen), Dave Sims (Jim) and Martin Pursey (Frank) as the Parish Council attendees, all gave us sterling performances, giving us the essence of those well-known and loved characters, showing all their little foibles, bringing them to life.


Peter Carter-Brown undertook the role of David – a difficult one to pitch right, but overall a sympathetic characterisation.


Additional female parts were played very well by Sophie Singleton-Sells and Ellie Turton, with Barry Pain undertaking the eccentric Bishop, prone to speaking quietly, then shouting, which was quite amusing, and Nico Bamford, who covered two smaller and very diverse parts, the very butch Steve, and then the slightly more aesthetic Jeremy, both parts requiring a different persona, which he did well.


Overall an enjoyable production, well acted and directed, which the audience thoroughly enjoyed, and was a good evening’s entertainment.




















GRIFFIN PLAYERS -  “THE VICAR OF DIBLEY”

 review date:5th October 2017

Little Theatre, Dunstable

Director:  John O’Leary





 Asst: Kerry Collins

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