Whangarei Theatre Company: Vicar gives a good laugh

By Dee Jones

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The cast of Vicar of Dibley, the current comedy at Whangarei Theatre Company.
The cast of Vicar of Dibley, the current comedy at Whangarei Theatre Company.

The Vicar of Dibley, written by Richard Curtis and directed by Pamela Black, is being performed by Whangarei Theatre Company.

If you are expecting comedy and hoping for a good laugh, you will leave feeling satisfied. You will chuckle through most of this performance as the one-liners, repartee and timing so essential to comedy, is perfect.

Geraldine Granger (Tracey Lawson) as the unwelcome female vicar along with her sidekick, the verger, the dipsy Alice Tinker (Laura Thomson), together they are a warm, funny and delightful duo as they fulfil their church responsibilities. Geraldine describes Alice as having "the intellectual capacity and charisma of a cactus", and Alice is warmly accepting of her new boss, as they superbly work the stage together.

The remaining cast makes up the Vicarage Council: the Chairman David Horton (Bill Finn), the town bully who somewhat narcissistically considers himself the only intelligent member of the council, works on the committee alongside his son, Hugo Horton (Adam Janes), who is the consummate "succulent" in the love stakes to a perfect match with Alice.

The remaining committee is made up of Frank Pickle (Syd Dowling) as the pedantic and slow-witted secretary; the stuttering Jim Trott (Pete Fleming) who prefaces everything he says with "no-no-no-no-no-" even when he says "yes"; Owen Newitt (Graham Smith) who is vulgar, uncouth and obsessed with bodily functions; and Leticia Cropley (Eilean Rawson) who remains vague throughout except for her interest in bondage, knitting, fashion and cooking, the last two with shocking, deplorable, often hilarious, results.

They all delivered authentic roles and remained consistently in character, and contributed enormously to the comedy.

Black needs to be acknowledged for her outstanding directing for this performance, as it takes hard work (for her and her cast) to make the show look effortless and yet uphold the tradition and elements of comedy. The revolving stage was an effective tool as were the props, and the costuming was very credible.

The show is on until Saturday, with bookings online at www.whangareitheatrecompany.org.nz or matinee tickets at the door from 1pm Saturday.

- Northern Advocate

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