The Vicar of Dibley’s triumphant resurrection

Thornton Little Theatre

Thornton Little Theatre

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The Vicar of Dibley, ‘The Second Coming’ Thornton Little Theatre

Poulton Drama’s festive production in aid of Comic Relief hails a pre-Christmas encore with the original award-winning cast from their 2014 Grand Theatre sell-out production, The Vicar of Dibley.

The ridiculous story-line in ‘The Second Coming’ really doesn’t matter because, actually, the slick delivery by each eccentric character is the ultimate key to the play’s success in the delightful Little Theatre setting at Thornton.

It is a paradox of a script brimming with sexual euphemisms and innuendo on the one hand and the birth of Christ on the other, a combination which clearly works in this light-hearted instance.

Garry Houghton, playing curmudgeonly farmer Owen, never fails to please and this gift-of-a-role is tailor-made for him.

Likewise, Laura Cullen, as silly verger Alice, sits perfectly in her part and bewilderedly deserves to steal the show.

To describe the ‘plot’ would be unfair as the element of surprise makes it all the funnier, but, needless to say, Alice is heavily pregnant and is playing Mary in Dibley’s St. Barnabus Church 650 year celebration Nativity play.

There are some delightful characterisations particularly in the first act radio broadcast scenes and in the Nativity audition scene and, although everyone deserves a mention, it is Cathy D’Arcy’s comic timing as Vicar Geraldine and Cathie Welsh’s laugh-out-loud antics as Mrs Cropley, complete with sheep’s head and slippers, who really went for it.

Director, Tony Stone, should be brimming with pride as he and his experienced cast have pulled out all the stops yet again to deliver an inspired performance for the delighted local community who continue to support these talented actors.

Runs until tomorrow at 7.30pm with a matinee at 2.30pm.

Yvonne Fielding