Ready to bring Dibley to the village

Getting into character . . . Rehearsing hard are actors (from left) Andy Palmer (Owen Hewitt), Suzy Duffield (Alice Tinker), Chelley Leov (Geraldine Granger), Mark Hayward (Simon Horton), Davey Henderson (Hugo Horton), Mark Coster (David Horton), Paddy O'Reilly (Frank Pickle), Lindsey Nelson (Jim Trott) and Angela O'Reilly (mad woman). PHOTO: DON MCCULLY

A crazy combination of madness and hilarity will ensue as the Geraldine Lodge Theatre is once again transformed into the village of Dibley.

Under the keen eye of seasoned director Don McCully, the Geraldine Players, will be taking the iconic British sitcom The Vicar of Dibley to the stage next month after unforeseen circumstances delayed the production after it was set to go to stage in December last year.

However, the play is back in full swing as the players prepare to tackle three episodes of the hit show.

These being, EngagementLove and Marriage and Winter.

The Vicar of Dibley centres around the fictional Oxforshire village of Dibley.

After the death of their 102-year-old vicar, the villagers are shocked to find his replacement to be Geraldine Granger, a woman, who, following changes to the Church of England allowing the ordination of women, takes up the mantle as the new vicar of Dibley.

The show revolves around her relationship with the parish council and her involvement in the local community, which is filled with many eccentric individuals.

Director Don McCully said it was the second time he had directed The Vicar of Dibley in Geraldine.

‘‘It is really well supported by the local community, they all know about the show and the madness that goes on behind the parish hall and in the town of Dibley.

‘‘These three episodes relate to things that happen in the life of Geraldine, the council members, their relationships and how they change depending on the situation they’re faced with.

‘‘A large part is to do with her verger Alice and we all know how crazy Alice is.’’

Mr McCully said he loved going to Geraldine to direct and work with the players.

‘‘I’ve been coming out here to direct productions for over 20 years and I just really enjoy it.

‘‘I can’t say they are like [characters in] the village of Dibley to work with, but they definitely are an eccentric bunch of individuals who I get on with and really enjoy working with.’’

Mr McCully has been involved in local theatre since 1968 and has been hooked ever since.

‘‘When I got too old for dancing around the floor and musicals I took to directing.

‘‘I simply love it, it’s great.’’

He said being a director was ‘‘extremely’’ rewarding.

‘‘It’s great to be able to take a play from first rehearsal to dress rehearsal and to see the improvement in the players.

‘‘They just need to be poked, prodded and pushed in the right direction and they make fantastic actors.

‘‘They are totally enthusiastic about what they do and they love being on stage, I like letting them see how great they can become themselves.’’

Mr McCully said he might be biased, but he believed community theatre was still very much the heart of a community.

‘‘Geraldine is an arty town and is always encouraging performers from out-of-town companies and productions. . .’’

‘‘It’s a centre for art. We are very well supported by the local community and it brings so many people from out of town.

‘‘I think it’s an integral part of what Geraldine is.’’

The play will be performed from April 5-7 and April 11-13.

Tickets can be bought at LOUK clothing in Geraldine or by emailing [email protected].