From Dibley to Titirangi

The Titirangi Theatre 'Vicar of Dibley' cast in rehearsal. From left: Ariel Hubbert as Alice, Robin Lane as Hugo, Nicola ...
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The Titirangi Theatre 'Vicar of Dibley' cast in rehearsal. From left: Ariel Hubbert as Alice, Robin Lane as Hugo, Nicola Chapman as the vicar, Richard McFadgeon as Frank, Jane Burrage as Letitia.

Brace yourself for a barrel of laughs as The Vicar of Dibley tries to win over Titirangi.

The comedy is adapted from the TV series which featured Dawn French as a female vicar. 

The local production, opening on March 21, is based on the first five episodes of the series, and follows the appointment of a female vicar after the elderly vicar died suddenly. 

Lindsay Nash director of The Vicar of Dibley at Titirangi Theatre. Nash said the characters in the play are "larger than ...
BEATRICE RANDEll/ FAIRFAX NZ

Lindsay Nash director of The Vicar of Dibley at Titirangi Theatre. Nash said the characters in the play are "larger than life."

The new vicar, Geraldine - played by Nicola Chapman - battles to win over a sceptical parish council. 

Chapman returns for her third play at Titirangi after performances in Social Climbers and As You like It.

Director and Titirangi resident, Lindsay Nash, said the cast of nine had been rehearsing for about eight weeks, with three rehearsals a week.

Nash said the production is based on the TV series starring Dawn French.
BEATRICE RANDEll/ FAIRFAX NZ

Nash said the production is based on the TV series starring Dawn French.

He said he wanted to start the year with comedy and the characters are quite "larger than life".

He said in New Zealand we have lots of female vicars but they are not so common in England.

Nash said the vicar wins over the town because she is lively and pleasant.

She cares for her "flock" even though some are eccentric.

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He said the production is somewhat English in its context, but New Zealanders could relate to the character's relationships. 

The stage set is centred around the church hall and the vicarage, Nash said.

He said the theatre has been going for over 50 years and it's important for the community to have an artistic outlet.

It's about getting away from TV and sports, he said.

The director said he thinks the audience will be mainly amused by the play, but he hoped they will be moved by the final scene.

At the end vicar has a job offer in Liverpool and is not sure if she wants to go, he said.

It's "poignant", he said.

The director said tickets are selling well and if the play isn't "big box office" then he doesn't know what is. 

The stage play is adapted by Ian Gower from the TV series by Richard Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer.

The play runs from March 21 to April 1 at Titirangi Theatre. For tickets go to titirangitheatre.co.nz. Tickets range from $10-$25

 - Western Leader

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