Vicar of Dibley in Port Fairy

READY: Port Fairy Theatre Group's Vicar of Dibley director Lisa Graham is excited about the upcoming play to be held at the Lecture Hall in Port Fairy. Picture: Christine Ansorge
READY: Port Fairy Theatre Group's Vicar of Dibley director Lisa Graham is excited about the upcoming play to be held at the Lecture Hall in Port Fairy. Picture: Christine Ansorge

THE driving force behind the Port Fairy Theatre Group’s latest production is already singing the praises of her cast.

Practice: The cast of the Vicar of Dibley during rehearsals ahead of the performances of the play this weekend.

Practice: The cast of the Vicar of Dibley during rehearsals ahead of the performances of the play this weekend.

Lisa Graham is the director of the Vicar of Dibley stage production that will be put on by the theatre group at the Port Fairy Lecture Hall this weekend.

“Auditions started back in August, there has been a lot of hard work put in already,” Graham said.

“It has been a real team effort, everyone has had a blast, it is a wonderful group of people. It is wonderful for the town to have a strong theatre group. It has all been done on a shoestring budget but we think we have a great show for people to come along and enjoy.”

Graham moved to Port Fairy three years ago, joining the theatre group soon after her arrival in town.

She brings with her plenty of experience in live theatre production.

“I have been involved in theatre off and on for the past 20 years,” Graham said.

“I did a small companies and community theatre course at Gordon Institute in Geelong back in the 1990s.

“That course included acting, backstage stuff, stage management, publicity and direction.

“I have mainly concentrated on directing, it’s what I enjoy about being involved in productions the most.”

Graham and her cast have taken on a big task by tackling such a beloved show such as the Vicar of Dibley.  

This magnitude of the job at hand and the responsibility that comes with it have not been lost on Graham.

“I have always been a fan of the television series and of Dawn French,” she said.

“We know there will be a certain level of expectation from the audience, people are very attached to the show.

“I have told the actors I am very happy for them to do their own versions of the characters.

“There will be that familiarity but I don’t think people expect to come and see just a straight take-off of what they see on television.

“It is community theatre, it has its own charm and people enjoy seeing someone they might know up on stage performing.”

Graham said as a director, she has also been able to put her own stamp on the show.  

“After watching the show so many times, I thought it would be something that could transfer well to stage,” she said.

“We got permission from the makers of the television show to put the play on.

“Even though other community theatre groups have done the play in the past, it was surprising to find there was no set stage script out there. That gave me the chance to do my own adaption. I have combined four episodes and I think they piece together well for an entertaining show.”  

The cast and their characters are: 

Martin Sullivan (Reverend Pottle), Bianca Schultz (Alice Tinker), Paul Bucci (David Horton),  Blayke Rietman (Hugo Horton), Rob Foard (Frank Pickle), Rob Dowlin (Jim Trott), Mary Ewen (Leticia Cropley), Warren Easley (Owen Newitt), Eila Lyon (Vicar of Dibley), Gail Sedgley (Mrs Tinker), Lisa Graham (Mary Tinker) and Anja Harley (Woman at Church).

Performance times are Friday 7:30pm, Saturday 7:30pm and 2pm, Sunday 2pm. Tickets at trybooking.com/SHKD and Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre.