Hamilton audiences are headed for another round of hilarity as Hamilton Playbox and director Jane Barnett bring the award-winning British comedy The Vicar of Dibley:The Second Coming, back to the stage at Riverlea Theatre.
The Vicar of Dibley is a British sitcom which ran from 10 November 1994 to 22 January 1998 and was ranked among the most successful British programmes in the digital era.
The Vicar of Dibley received multiple British Comedy Awards and in 2004 placed third in a BBC poll of Britain's Best Sitcom.
Jane Barnett directed Vicar of Dibley for Playbox in 2015 to sold-out audiences and had such a blast doing it she decided to do it again, this time focusing on three episodes, The Easter Bunny, The Christmas Lunch and The Engagement.
Set in a fictional English village of Dibley, writers Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer serve up a gently self-deprecating sense of British humour.
Each character portrays the exaggerated and quirky personalities found in small communities.
The story is lined with earthy similes including the name of the village — named after a 'Dibble,' a short stick designed to allow peasant farmers to plant seeds along with agricultural names like Cropley, Pickle, Tinker and Trott.
The Second Coming is also the second time Lee Owens and Aleida Brown have teamed up in lead roles.
Owens, like the original Welsh comedienne Dawn French, makes a fine Vicar Geraldine Granger, complete with a lively and natural sense of humour.
Aleida Brown plays Alice Tinker. Granger is in almost constant bewilderment at her verger's personality which is rather like an understaffed telephone exchange.
The performance is a timely recognition of the contribution of English actress Emma Chambers, who played Alice in the TV series, the original 'wide-eyed brainless blonde', who died of natural causes in February.
The Playbox The Vicar of Dibley: The Second Coming, directed by Jane Barnett, is at the Riverlea Theatre, Hamilton, October 13 to 27.
Most shows 8pm, dinner available. Matinees 2pm Sat 20 and 27 October. Tickets www.iticket.co.nz or call the theatre, 07 856 5450.