Review: Vicar of Dibley

When it comes to a stage production of a well-loved TV classic such as The Vicar of Dibley any company are instantly on dodgy ground as comparisons are drawn with the original, this is not so with the Two Rivers Theatre Company adaptation.

Drawing on three episodes from the award-winning series, producer Kay Friars has succeeded in a production that stands alone, even for those not familiar with the original tv version.
The three stories are, The Arrival (when the new vicar arrives), The Window and the Weather and the end-piece a hilarious almost slapstick Easter Bunny.

A stage production does not benefit from the luxury of tv in being able to flit from scene to scene easily.

The setting for the stories in this piece are, Dibley Village Hall, The Vicarage and the home of David Horton, the stage is divided into three parts for the various settings and scene changes are simply conveyed by the shifting of the lighting. The speed of the scene changes is the only criticism in the entire production as some are somewhat over slow and maybe more could have made of the film pieces to ease this transition.

This is quiet a large cast and it is probably unfair to single out individuals, however Val Eldridge turns in a very good portrayal of Rev Geraldine Granger which is very close to Dawn French’s original without being an imitation of Dawn.

Another who shines is Bex Nicholls as Alice Tinker, Bex excels in comedy roles and is ideally cast as the dizzy Alice.

That said all the actors turn in excellent performances and are a credit to the company.

This reviewer sees a lot of productions both professional and amateur and Two Rivers stands out as one of the more proficient companies where you are always guaranteed of a professionally executed and enjoyable evening.

– Mark Keable, Ipswich24 –