Review: The Vicar of Dibley

Agnes Lillis as The Vicar of Dibley

Agnes Lillis as The Vicar of Dibley - Credit: Archant

The Seagull Rep, Lowestoft’s Seagull Theatre, August 14-18 and September 1; Fakenham Community Centre, August 20-21; Diss Corn Hall, August 22; Great Yarmouth’s St George’s Theatre, August 23-24; Thetford’s Carnegie Room, August 27; Norwich Playhouse, August 30-31; Beccles Public Hall, September 4-5 and The Atrium, North Walsham, September 6.

Will Isgrove as Hugo and Sharn McDonald as Alice

Will Isgrove as Hugo and Sharn McDonald as Alice - Credit: Archant

God bless The Seagull Rep. We all left a very happy congregation after watching its take on classic episodes The Arrival, Songs of Praise and The Easter Bunny. Gentler than the Lowestoft-based company’s recent version of Fawlty Towers, it doesn’t mean the show pulls its punches. The issues it raises are still as relevant today; although some of the references appeared dated and may have gone over younger audience members’ heads.

With Dawn French and co’s performances etched in fans’ minds, the cast all had a difficult line to walk. You don’t want to mimic them but you don’t want to lose what makes the characters special by trying to reinvent the wheel; but they managed it with aplomb, adding their own subtle touches to their roles.

The Songs of Praise audition scene was hilarious, while the end of The Easter Bunny sparked tears of laughter and sadness. The whole show, which looks great too, is staged very cleverly which helps keep things fresh. To say any more about that would spoil the fun.

Be sure to try out some of Letty Cropley’s inventive and surprisingly tasty sandwiches during the interval.


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WAYNE SAVAGE

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