News Column

The Vicar comes to life on stage with a wholly different approach

July 17, 2013


ROMAN poetry, 80s songs and Alice in Wonderland all came together as aspiring actors tried out for a part in a Nottingham play which will raise money for comic relief.

The People's Theatre Company will perform a stage version of the popular television series The Vicar Of Dibley at the Nottingham Arts Theatre in September.

Featuring all the characters from the BBC1 show, the script brings together scenarios from various episodes to form story in its own right.

Director Robbie Robb, who has just finished starring as Franz Butler in the theatre's latest production, said he was looking for actors who showed originality and inventiveness at the auditions, which requested a one minute monologue of any description be performed. Mr Robb said: This play was chosen by The People's Theatre Committee as our next one and I was very flattered to be asked to be director. We are also doing a pantomime this year and we've just done the Sound Of Music so it's a nice contract to have a comedy which is quite familiar to people because of the television show.

Having said that, the auditions are not going to be a looky- likey contest or an impersonation contest, although the characters will be true to the show in personality.

I don't care what people perform, it can be a poem, a rap, a play, anything they want and I'm looking for originality and inventiveness. The play has been written by Ian Gower and Paul Carpenter, with the approval of the writers of the television series, Richards Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer.

All the royalties from the production will be donated to Comic Relief.

Jessica Ainsworth was among those auditioning to be involved in the play at auditions held on Monday.

The 24-year-old of Mansfield, was keen to play the part of Alice or an un-named woman who Mr Robb planned to use as a distraction between scene changes.

She performed an extract from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I love theatre and I've been watching this place for a while and wanted to get involved but have not had the chance to get involved until now, said Ms Ainsworth.

I chose my auditioning piece because I think Alice is a little bit crazy in the way she talks to herself, as is Alice in the Vicar Of Dibley, and of course they share the same name. Next up to audition with an extract from the play A Raisin In The Sun was Kerry Leibrick, 30, of West Bridgford. I felt a connection with the piece I performed and that's all you can look for, she said.

I've been coming to some of the play readings here so thought I'd try my luck at this one. Among them was Glenn Murphy who read How Horatius Kept the Bridge from the Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Babington.

I've been involved in other productions here and I really enjoy it, said the 59-year-old of Wollaton, who was trying out for the part of farmed Owen Newitt.

The Vicar Of Dibley will run at Nottingham Arts Theatre in George Street from Tuesday, September 24 to Saturday, September 28.

GETTING INVOLVED Will you be watching the show at the theatre? Join the debate online

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