The Vicar of Dibley

Date 17th July 2014
Society North Manchester AODS
Venue Simpson Memorial Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Vanessa Randle


Author: Sharon Drummond

The set was well built on this limited staging and backstage area. There were many scene changes but the crew coped with each very well. The lighting had some issues especially on some of the scene changes with the crew in full light and the players in darkness or muted lighting. Good use was made of the auditorium for some scenes. The 3 episodes chosen were The Arrival, The Window & the Weather and The Christmas Lunch Incident.

The costumes looked great and fitted each character. The difficulty with shows such as these is that they come with no stage script (just the TV shows scripts) and they are so well know that you cannot deviate from the characters too far. There are between 10-15 scene changes in each episode which presents problems in a small area such as the Simpson Hall but I thought Vanessa Randle the Director had used the spaces well and tried hard to not hold up the action on stage.

The cast were fabulous, really digging deep with each character and pulling it off. There were some obvious age discrepancies but in amateur theatre this cannot always be avoided. By 20 minutes in the discrepancies didn’t matter so effective was the acting.

The key character is of course Geraldine Grainger, the Vicar and this was beautifully played by Lindsay Gresswell. Her comic timing was great and her charm of course eventually wins everyone round (including the audience)

Lisa Boyle was fabulous as the not so bright Alice Tinker. Well done on the accent and the complete naivety of the role. Dominic Pastore although a little young for David Horton played the part really well with a pompous attitude as he realises he is the only one in the village that is anywhere near normal. His son Hugo was nicely played by Andrew Borg-Fenech again with a nice simplicity.

Nick Lowe did a great job on Jim Trott, the No, No, Yes man and David Long was an endearing Frank Pickle who looked and sounded like the TV version. Toni Openshaw was a lovely Mrs Cropley and the other supporting parts were well played. For me the one player who absolutely nailed his part in every way was Martin Taylor as Owen Newitt. Roger Lloyd Pack will have thought he had been reincarnated watching this performance. Well done Martin.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening which flew by. Well done everyone involved in this production.