A Vicar of Dibley Christmas- The Second Coming

Date 10th December 2021
Society The Florians Dramatic Society
Venue Florians Theatre, Inverness
Type of Production Play
Director Caroline Nicol

Report

Author: Douglas J Clark, Regional Rep

This is the sequel to the first stage adaptation of The Vicar of Dibley which the society very successfully produced in June 2018. The action takes place over a period of months in the Parish Hall, The Vicarage and Owen Newitt’s farm. The story follows on from Alice and Hugo’s wedding and tells of the setting up of Radio Dibley and the imminent arrival of Alice and Hugo’s baby.

Act 1 covers the Vicar Geraldine Grainger (played once again by the excellent Lesley Mitchell) and her attempts to set up a local radio station. She is helped/hindered by her dim but lovable Verger Alice Horton nee Tinker (played once again by the inimitable Sasha Devine) and the other members of the Parish Council – overbearing Chairman David Horton (Nicholas Nicol), nervous Secretary Frank Pickle (Ian Shearer), sex obsessed farmer Owen Newitt (Martin Anderson), stuttering OAP Jim Trott (Trevor Nicol), suspect culinary expert Letitia Cropley (Anne Bamborough) and Alice’s equally dim husband Hugo Horton (Matthais Kremer). The highlights of this act for me were the point where Frank starts his programme with the announcement to the community that he is gay and Alice’s overwhelming defeat of her overbearing father-in-law David in the quiz (though there may have been some jiggery-pokery with the questions!).

Act 2 covers the preparations, fraught rehearsals and performance of the annual Christmas show - the Nativity. As Alice is by now obviously “with child” she and Hugo insist on playing the parts of Mary and Joseph which Geraldine as Director, after much persuasion and tears, reluctantly agrees to. The rest of the cast then play multiple parts as shepherds, wisemen and innkeeper with David playing an over the top King Herod. The performance is held on Owen’s farm and, as he doesn’t have a donkey, Alice as Mary makes her entrance wheeled in on a sack barrow obviously about to give birth imminently! As one would expect the baby is safely delivered (onstage) and everyone lives happily everafter!

This an ensemble piece but the close relationship between the Vicar and Verger, as played by Lesley and Sasha, was beautifully portrayed.

The box set, split into two halves to portray the Parish Hall and the Vicarage sitting room, was excellent and coupled with the lighting allowed for no long delays between scenes. The props were all in period as were the costumes. The final transformation into Owen’s farm was also expertly handled. Music used to cover the scene changes ranged from “A Wombling Merry Christmas” to the Verve’s “The Drugs Don’t Work” to Dolly Parton’s version of “Go Tell It On The Mountain” to “O Come All Ye Faithful” referenced to what had happened in the preceeding scene.

Congratulation to everyone involved on another first rate production.