The Vicar of Dibley

Date 16th May 2019
Society Beeston Players
Venue Round Hill School, Beeston
Type of Production Play
Director Lloyd Delderfield

Report

Author: Martin Holtom

This is the first time I have had the pleasure of attending a Beeston Players' production and if ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ is anything to go by I have clearly been missing out.  The play itself is adapted from the TV series by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer and starts right at the beginning with the parishioners surprised to find that the Bishop has appointed a woman after the death of their previous Vicar. The quality of the writing provided the core strength of the production but that was no guarantee of success which was of course driven by Lloyd and his talented cast.  

Nicola Adkin was at the heart of the on-stage action as Geraldine Granger and delivered a well judged performance evocative of Dawn French but without trying to be a slavish copy.  Sue Frost was on great form as Alice Tinker and the relationship she developed with Gary Frost as Hugo Horton was at all times believable.  Paul Langston was suitably sarcastic yet supportive as David Horton ably supported by Ian Greatorex again providing a nicely judged pedantic Frank Pickle.  Kevin Fairbrother captured the internal amusement that must be behind the ‘no no no  -   yes’ catchphrase with great ease and delivered these at just the right pace to avoid slowing the overall pace of his scenes. Tom Jenkins was suitably thick skinned as farmer Owen Newitt clearly unaware that you needed to treat women differently to livestock, and Alison Williams was clearly having fun as Letitia Copley.  There were a small number of continuity pauses but they did not detract from the overall pacing of the production.

Having performed at Round Hill School in the past myself, the company and back stage crew should be congratulated on how they delivered the production with pace despite the limited wing space.  The breaking of the fourth wall during the wedding ceremony (and the spectacular wedding dress for Alice Tinker) were a great use of space and the choice to start with an open set was absolutely the right one.  The table and chairs, where a significant part of the action was set, did seem to be positioned a little too far back; that made entrances and exits harder than they could have been but that aside, the set was just right.  The sound, props, hair/makeup and backstage team supported the action as did the lighting throughout the production.

Congratulations to one and all , many thanks for the invitation to join you for your 115th production, and I very much look forward to the next.

Martin Holtom