Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

Any other business

Any other business at the Dibley Parish Council meeting in a version of the popular TV sitcom written for the stage Pictures: Colin Hill

The Vicar of Dibley

The Nonentities

The Rose Theatre, Kidderminster


Transferring a popular TV sitcom to the stage is never easy but with Ian Gower and Paul Carpenter’s The Vicar of Dibley the transition seems effortless.

This is primarily down to the success of the series and the characters. Whilst the play never strays from the format of a sitcom with short scenes clipped together in a very edited TV manner you easily accept a new cast of faces as the punch lines and scenarios are always engaging and funny.

The Nonentities take at least stays to the visual and often audible representations of Dibley’s residents and that helps in the acceptance. Gleaning instances and scenes from the original TV show it begins with the arrival of the new vicar, Geraldine and ends with the sugary sweet wedding of Alice and Hugo.

Tori Wakeman takes on the sizable role of Geraldine Granger, the politically uncorrect vicar who arrives in the country village of Dibley. In a very confident delivery the vicar is a central point for the other assortment of outrageous and dippy characters that make up the parish council to reveal their personalities.

There’s Jessica Schneider as Alice Tinker, the verger, who is continually lacking in any real intelligence of any social situation and skips through life like a woodland fairy.


Jess Schneider as Alice, Tori Wakeman as Geraldine and Bob Graham as David Horton.

The narrow-minded David Horton leader of the parish council was played by Bob Graham who seemed to enjoy the role immensely. Horton’s less than able son Hugo played by Stefan Austin puts in a great performance considering other characters he has played at the nonentities.

Stuart Woodroffe the pedantic parish clerk, Frank Pickle, was frustrating funny as the minutes were made during each of the meetings. Then there is  “no, no, no, yes!” Jim Trott played by Steven Bougourd who manages to raise as many laughs as the point-blank Owen Newitt the farmer delivered impeccably by Martin Salter. Last of the council is Letitia Cropley played by Patricia Gale who revels in her outlandish cooking skills

One wonders if the themes behind each of these characters would even get past commissioning bodies who would no doubt look at each them with a deeper serious look at their conditions. But the fact is the popularity of the original series is still intact and no one takes anything they say or do seriously.

The main stage is literally split in two between the Church hall and the vicar’s residence and the action merely moves from side to another. It’s effective but does have difficulty of reducing the action to short sections and cameos and this at times slows the action.

It’s a testament to the popularity of the TV series that The Nonentities have sold out two nights and with the quality of the work on stage giving a faithful representation of the TV format you would be wise to book as fast as possible to catch this very funny show. To 22-06-19

Jeff Grant


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