Review | The Vicar of Dibley at The Barn, Milton: ‘Easy-going comedy which raises plenty of laughs’

A MUCH-loved British sitcom was brought to Milton Park last night as Portsmouth Players launched its production of The Vicar of Dibley.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 1:04 pm
The Vicar of Dibley by The Portsmouth Players is at The Barn, Milton, from October 6-9, 2021.
The Vicar of Dibley by The Portsmouth Players is at The Barn, Milton, from October 6-9, 2021.

The four day run of the show opened to an almost-full house, which laughed and cheered as the eccentric cast of odd but loveable characters took to the stage.

Based on the BBC One television programme which originally aired between 1994 and 1998, The Vicar of Dibley play features plots and scenes from the series, adapted for the stage by Ian Gower and Paul Carpenter.

Small, rural village Dibley is shocked to discover that following the death of their 100-and-something vicar, the Church of England has sent their parish (horror of horrors) a woman priest.

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Geraldine Grainger (Kate Claxton) – wit, free spirit, and chocoholic – sets about winning the hearts of all on the parish council.

The stage at the Players’ studio theatre The Barn is split between Geraldine’s home, the cosy vicarage, and the Dibley Parish Council meeting room.

Scenes bounce back and forth as the story unfolds.

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The vicar’s new best friend, bubbly but not-so-bright Alice Tinker (played to perfection by Jenny Edwards) is in love with the equally daft Hugo Horton (Tony Johnson) – only son of influential parish councillor David (Robert Day), who fails to warm to Geraldine’s quirky appeal.

The low stakes, quaint dramas fuelling the narrative – what the characters are giving up for Lent, finding enough gossip to fill the parish newsletter, farmer Owen’s (Shane Parkes) ongoing colonic challenges – make for easy-going comedy which raises plenty of laughs from the audience.

A charming and funny production, The Vicar of Dibley will be playing until October 9.

Portsmouth Players’ autumn/winter season productions will be held at The Barn, Milton.

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