Vicar of Dibley fans will not be disappointed! Open Air Theatre Festival

When their elderly vicar passes away, congregation members in Dibley are surprised to find that a woman has been assigned to their parish. And not just any woman – Geraldine Granger is outgoing, vivacious and fun-loving however with all that she is caring and committed to her congregation.

The Vicar of Dibley hit British television screens in 1994 and although I was young I did watch a few episodes with my mother and the Christmas specials were always popular in our house.

Dawn French played Geraldine Granger in the television series and she was fantastic! I knew whoever was to fill her boots for the performance had a lot to live up to!

I was so impressed with this performance I feel I need to mention all who were involved. Each actor was talented with great stage presence. The scenic design was perfect with props that were well-fitting to the TV series. Music and lighting effects were well-timed with each changing scene and the Director Richard Nichols must have really put his heart into such a fantastic performance.

Image credit, Keith Stanbury 2017.

Fiona Porter-Smith portrayed Geraldine. As soon as she took to the stage the audience was captivated. Upon meeting her shocked congregation she makes the remark: “You were expecting a bloke – beard, bible, bad breath. And instead, you got a babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom.” The audience roared its approval.  Along with her funny remarks we see her love for chocolate, chemistry with love interest David Horton, her wiliness to help others and she sports some epic handmade jumpers! Fiona was perfectly cast to play Geraldine.

Her best friend is Alice Tinker portrayed by Sophie Lewis. Alice is Blonde and dippy, Geraldine describes her as having “the intellectual capacity and charisma of a cactus” in one scene, Geraldine often tells jokes to Alice, but Alice rarely understands the humour. Sophie Lewis portrayed this character very well, she was well into character; naive but also sweet-natured and her chemistry with Hugo Horton was enjoyable to watch.

Geraldine played by Fiona Porter-Smith & Alice Tinker played by Sophie Lewis. Image credit, Keith Stanbury 2017.

Hugo Horton was portrayed by the very talented Edward Kettle. His portrayal of Hugo was fantastic. At ease, he played the friendly yet dim-witted and childlike son of David Horton. Sporting some lovely ties and nervously trying to win the affection of Alice. Horton appears in scenes a little afraid of his dad…this heated chemistry could be seen on stage however, Hugo finally stands up to him when it comes to wishing to marrying Alice.

David Horton portrayed by Neil Davies. The District Councillor for Dibley and main opponent of the female vicar. Neil Davies was marvellous as the notorious town bully who controlled the Council without any opposition until the Vicar’s arrival. His stage presence was superb! Disliked at first by many for being old-fashioned and rude, Neil took on this role with ease; And as the performance progressed he becomes lovable. There is a lovely scene at the end which shows how much he really does care for Geraldine.

Secretary Frank Pickle was played by Peter Harding-Roberts. Again a very talented man who portrayed Frank marvellously. From boring secretary that nobody has time for, to shining bright when he ‘COME’S OUT’ . I found him to be really funny when he is there to give Alice away on her wedding day. Frank wears a sign which states that he is not Alice’s father and then he tells everyone that he is a close family friend and has “not had sexual relations with Mrs Tinker in any way whatsoever”.

Jim Trott is a parish council member, he is well-known in the TV series for his “no-no-no-no-no…” to almost everything he says, in particular “yes!” Jim was brilliantly portrayed by Wayne Vincent he had the audience right where he wanted them from the first scene with his almost natural ability to take on Jim’s stuttering. He really stole the show for me.

Owen Newitt is a local farmer and a parish council member, he was played by Stephen Lurvey . He portrayed the unhygienic farmer with problems with his stomach and bowels, in the only way you could really …by running to the crapper and farting a lot! Aside from his tummy issues Owen likes to swear a lot and Stephan was great at using the word ‘bloody,’ to describe something useful.

Generally seen crocheting on the Parish Council, we can not forget the marvellous Letitia Cropley who was portrayed by Bella Kemble. Bella took on the character of Letitia perfectly; offering parish members her revolting “delicacies” of mix matched foods. She really was the perfect choice to play the caked make up  Dibley church organist.

Letitia Cropley played by Bella Kemble. Image credit, Keith Stanbury 2017.

The Vicar of Dibley will run from 6th July – 15th July Book Here

Whats on next??

On the 20th July comes the very dark and gruesome Macbeth, Directed by Simon H West the Shakespeare play is about Treachery, Murder and Black Magic! .

Macbeth will run from 20th July – 29th July Book Here

From the 22nd July the festival is proud to present Disney’s Aladdin Jnr produced by AndGo Theatre and Directed and Choreographed by Emma- Jane Parker. Aladdin Junior will be running for two performances during the day of Macbeth and feature some of South Wales’ most talented youngsters.

Disney’s Aladdin will run from 22nd July – 29th July Book Here

To read my reviews of Macbeth and Disney’s Aladdin Jnr  keep updated by liking my page on Facebook click HERE

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