Photo credit Stephen Morris
The Vicar of Dibley Rides out of Holt
It was a triumphant return to the Holt Village Hall stage for the newly-renamed Holt Players after three years. And the Vicar of Dibley was the ideal play to put on. It was light-hearted entertainment, full of funny lines, and eccentric characters so beloved in the popular BBCTV series. Not surprisingly, the three performances were a complete sell out.
Director Matt Heaton, making his directorial debut in Holt, had crafted a wonderful script from three main TV episodes – the arrival of the Rev Geraldine Grainger, Radio Dibley Live, and the wedding of Hugo Horton and Alice Tinker. All classics in their own right, and glued together with mini scenes from the Vestry jokes, to Parish Hall antics, and Mrs Cropley’s Cookbook.
The cast all rose to the occasion, playing their parts with gusto, and acutely observed characterisation. Every line a laugh, as they say. Two members of the ensemble were treading the board for the first time ever - Kate Lilley playing naïve and loveable Alice, and Nigel Fox who was Simon Horton, Geraldine’s smooth-talking love interest
But a production as complex as this would not have succeeded without backstage teamwork. Calmly pulled together by producer Kate Palmer, and with four sets on stage, and forty-five scene changes (this was a television script after all) – they had their work cut out. From the intricate lighting & sound boards; to using over a hundred props; and shifting chairs and tables in the blackout – not to mention over thirty costume changes - it was busier backstage than on it!
Everyone enjoyed themselves, however, and it was wonderful to be playing to an appreciative audience again. We bid a fond farewell to Geraldine Grainger, the Vicar of Dibley. Who knows who will follow in her footsteps......?
Here is our excellent cast: