The directors, Karen and Michele, were thrilled that so many people had shown an interest and offered to help with the 2019 production of a ‘ Vicar of Dibley Christmas’.
Following read through/auditions held w/e 23 June they were really pleased to be able to reveal the full cast (below).
Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to come along and congratulations to the succesful cast members.
|Geraldine Grainger||Liz Fincham|
|Alice Tinker-Horton||Carrie Walker|
|David Horton||Ben Lusby|
|Mrs Cropley||Barbara Deviny|
|Woman 1||Stephanie Munno|
|Woman 2||Penny Murray|
Show Picture Highlights
A Vicar of Dibley Christmas – The Second Coming
Date – 22nd November 2019
Society – Turvey Amateur Theatrical Society (TATS)
Venue – Turvey Village Hall
Type of Production – Play
Directors – Karen Pickwick and Michele Swales
Report – Author: Richard Fitt
These stage dramatisations of well-known TV comedy dramas present both opportunity and challenges in equal quantities. They are almost always guaranteed bankers, topping up a society’s coffers handsomely by playing to full houses, but at the same time the audience are primarily there to see the actors taking on the personae of the original cast members, no easy task. They are, put simply the stage equivalent to the music industries tribute bands. So the first thing to say is that TATS version of the Dibley characters was a delight in this respect as nearly all the main cast members took on and nailed the mannerisms and vocals of their famous characters.
The stage designed and built by Eileen Moulang and friends of TATs and slickly managed by Mel Webb was a full box set split into the Parish hall council meeting room stage left, with Geraldine Granger’s living room stage right, the apron far right being used for Geraldine’s office/study and the apron stage left was reserved for the famous vestry scenes that always concluded each episode of the TV series. All instantly recognisable to the original. Nicely done and very well thought out.
Excellent lighting was supplied by Lightening Lloyd and the sound and effects by Robert Ellis were, as far as I could tell, spot on cue, especially in the opening scene of the thunderstorm, which added greatly to the hilarity. Apparently we were lucky as the previous night’s production had be dogged with lighting problems caused by power outages in Turvey and the surrounding villages.
The well sourced wardrobe by Deborah Evans also added to the comedy, especially in the audition scene for the nativity play with the most unforgettably splendid Elvis outfit and especially the hair. Absolutely brilliant!
The whole play of course centres around the character of the Vicar, Geraldine Granger and Liz Fincham certainly got her measure. Not only did she have the mannerisms, her facial expressions were pure Dawn French. She was certainly well cast to carry this play.
Carrie Walker did the gormless Alice Horton’s accent almost perfectly and if you closed your eyes I really think you would have had difficulty telling the difference between her and Emma Chambers. Great characterisation.
Matthew Watson, was the equally gormless Hugo, and a great foil to both his wife and the barbed comments from his father.
On the male side Jonathan Davis as Jim Trott was my outstanding performance, mastering the word ‘no’ with complete accuracy and sublime comic timing, not to forget his facial expressions which were a comedic delight on their own. Every time he spoke you just knew you were going to laugh.
I always think the hardest part to play is the pompous David Horton who is more often the butt of the joke than the deliverer of wonderful comedy. Ben Lusby gave him a lighter side and more of his own slant on the part. Which once I got used to it worked well.
Bob Leslie gave us some great gags as Owen Newitt, whilst Barbara Deviny as Letitia Cropley of course when not knitting interjected periodically with offers of such delights as Marmite cake. Great stuff – the acting not the cake!!
Phil Pickwick was an excellently fastidious pedant Frank Pickle. Loved the pink jacket and the radio speech where he tells the whole of Dibley about being gay.
Other bit parts were played by Stephanie and Penny Murray as the two women and John Murray who appears out of the audience as the vet to deliver Alice’s baby in the middle of the Nativity play.
Karen Pickwick and Michele Swales obviously had a great deal of fun putting this production together and it paid off handsomely as the audience were treated to a very slick well-paced production indeed, with so many scene changes, twenty-six in all. That said and not anybody’s fault but it was rather a ping-pong of scene changes as we went back and forth between the Parish Hall and The Vicarage eleven times in quick succession.
Thank you TATs for a thoroughly entertaining evening, this is exactly what local village hall productions should look like and must have been of great satisfaction to see ‘Sold Out’ plastered across the banner outside the hall! I think you can say job well jobbed!
RECORDING SESSION 1st August
Rehearsal 2 – 5 September 2019