More tea, vicar?

OH, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE: British comedian Dawn French played the Reverend Geraldine Granger in the sitcom The Vicar of Dibley and now Musical Theatre is in search of actors and singers for a stage production of the popular TV show. Picture supplied

Eccentricity is key to English sitcom The Vicar of Dibley and plenty of colourful character parts are available for Musical Theatre Gisborne’s production of the popular show.

Auditions for the Gavin Maclean-directed production will be held this weekend at the Musical Theatre Gisborne clubrooms in Innes Street. The Vicar of Dibley will be staged at the end of November.

“The seven principal characters are well-defined, eccentric types, so fondly remembered from the hilarious television series,” says Maclean.

When the eponymous vicar, Geraldine Granger, arrives in Dibley to replace the recently deceased vicar, the conservative villagers are initially horrified. A stained-glass window of the church is smashed in a storm and they can’t afford to replace it. The play’s two goofiest characters, Alice and Hugo, are in love, but only with Geraldine’s help do they manage to do anything about it.

Grubby farmer Owen proposes to Geraldine — then, to her relief, rejects her. Geraldine wheedles money for the window out of a friend of a local millionaire and the surprise replacement is unveiled at the closing Christmas concert.

The show is interspersed with songs and the famous joke-telling between Geraldine and Alice.

Although music will be added to the production, the show is basically a play, says Maclean. The principals do not have to be singers.

“If they are, they can be used as such, but there is scope for small groups of singers, to sing in a range of styles, serious and comical. Children singing Christmas carols, a church choir between scenes with commentary like a Greek chorus and a closing performance as a staged Christmas concert.”

Rehearsals will mostly be held on Monday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

“These will be staggered so I would expect singers only twice a week until close to the show. One of those will be Sunday, the other to suit individual availability.”

  • Auditions for The Vicar of Dibley will be held at Musical Theatre Gisborne, Innes St, on Saturday, 9.30am – 3pm with recalls for principal roles, if required, on Sunday morning.

Characters are listed below. Audition excerpts can be collected from Stephen Jones Photography. Singers are invited to bring a song of choice but this is not essential. Episodes, especially the earlier ones, of The Vicar of Dibley on YouTube are worth watching.

Geraldine: The vicar. Generally confident and cheerful. Great sense of humour.

David: Chairman of the parish council. District councillor. Wealthy, short tempered and pompous.

Alice: Verger and Sunday school teacher. Kind heart, unbelievably stupid with the mentality of five-year-old. Alice is Hugo’s love-interest.

Hugo: David Horton’s son. Gauche and slow-witted. Love-interest of Alice.

Owen: A farmer who is bit rough around the edges. Vulgar, lavatory humour, but beautiful diction.

Jim: Parish council member. Dithers and stutters.

Letty (Letitia Cropley): Parish council member. Terrible cook.

Frank: Parish council secretary. Excruciatingly boring.

Daniel: Wealthy businessman. Two brief scenes.

Doris: Jim’s dithery wife. One little scene.

BBC announcers — two voices offstage.

Eccentricity is key to English sitcom The Vicar of Dibley and plenty of colourful character parts are available for Musical Theatre Gisborne’s production of the popular show.

Auditions for the Gavin Maclean-directed production will be held this weekend at the Musical Theatre Gisborne clubrooms in Innes Street. The Vicar of Dibley will be staged at the end of November.

“The seven principal characters are well-defined, eccentric types, so fondly remembered from the hilarious television series,” says Maclean.

When the eponymous vicar, Geraldine Granger, arrives in Dibley to replace the recently deceased vicar, the conservative villagers are initially horrified. A stained-glass window of the church is smashed in a storm and they can’t afford to replace it. The play’s two goofiest characters, Alice and Hugo, are in love, but only with Geraldine’s help do they manage to do anything about it.

Grubby farmer Owen proposes to Geraldine — then, to her relief, rejects her. Geraldine wheedles money for the window out of a friend of a local millionaire and the surprise replacement is unveiled at the closing Christmas concert.

The show is interspersed with songs and the famous joke-telling between Geraldine and Alice.

Although music will be added to the production, the show is basically a play, says Maclean. The principals do not have to be singers.

“If they are, they can be used as such, but there is scope for small groups of singers, to sing in a range of styles, serious and comical. Children singing Christmas carols, a church choir between scenes with commentary like a Greek chorus and a closing performance as a staged Christmas concert.”

Rehearsals will mostly be held on Monday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

“These will be staggered so I would expect singers only twice a week until close to the show. One of those will be Sunday, the other to suit individual availability.”

  • Auditions for The Vicar of Dibley will be held at Musical Theatre Gisborne, Innes St, on Saturday, 9.30am – 3pm with recalls for principal roles, if required, on Sunday morning.

Characters are listed below. Audition excerpts can be collected from Stephen Jones Photography. Singers are invited to bring a song of choice but this is not essential. Episodes, especially the earlier ones, of The Vicar of Dibley on YouTube are worth watching.

Geraldine: The vicar. Generally confident and cheerful. Great sense of humour.

David: Chairman of the parish council. District councillor. Wealthy, short tempered and pompous.

Alice: Verger and Sunday school teacher. Kind heart, unbelievably stupid with the mentality of five-year-old. Alice is Hugo’s love-interest.

Hugo: David Horton’s son. Gauche and slow-witted. Love-interest of Alice.

Owen: A farmer who is bit rough around the edges. Vulgar, lavatory humour, but beautiful diction.

Jim: Parish council member. Dithers and stutters.

Letty (Letitia Cropley): Parish council member. Terrible cook.

Frank: Parish council secretary. Excruciatingly boring.

Daniel: Wealthy businessman. Two brief scenes.

Doris: Jim’s dithery wife. One little scene.

BBC announcers — two voices offstage.

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