The Vicar of Dibley
Paul Johnson | 26 Nov 2016 11:40am
Last night the unfortunate Vicar of Dibley died twice on the stage of the Guildhall Theatre, once literally and once theatrically. The trouble with presenting a stage version of a well-known well-loved sitcom is that the TV version is written for specific actors with their own idiosyncrasies and their own personalities. What was offered here was a pale impersonation of these characters by actors who had little stage personality themselves. It is always a mistake to try to imitate others when a) your imitation lacks veracity and b) you fail to bring anything of yourself to the role.
However the blame, and blame it must be, lies squarely at the door of the director, Mary O’Neill. The lack of stagecraft, the interminable blackouts, and the thumping and banging as the settings were changed were enough to make the whole production representative of all that is bad in am-dram.
I couldn’t believe that the script had been adapted for the stage, it looked (and felt) like a TV script which allows effortless transformation between settings, you just can’t do this in a live performance and hope to convince an audience. Having said that, the audience (the theatre was full) were very generous, laughing at anything that was remotely funny and clapping enthusiastically at the end of the short scenes. They deserved better. They had obviously left their critical hata at home and were determined to have a ‘jolly night out’.
Quite the best thing for me was the angel singing between acts, I only wish the ‘play’ had matched the quality of her singing.
- : user
- : 25/11/2016