'A Vicar of Dibley Christmas' Directors blog
The final show blog
20 October 2014
This is it, my final blog. After months of planning, we are finally in the South Holland Centre and are now just three nights shy of our opening night. Overall I'm so pleased with how the build up has gone. From the actors to the set builders, the costume & props crew to the backstage team and, of course, the publicity crew, this show has been a real team effort. What I really love is it feels like we are one big family. If anyone has any problems they can go to any member of the team and they will always help.
I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of everyone and it hasn't even got to the show yet! Every show has its up and downs and you only have to look back over the previous fourteen blogs to see that.
Ok onto the final week in the world of Dibley. This week I decided not to do a full run and concentrate on scenes that I felt were weak. When I say weak I mean they needed some small adjustments to make them work better. Heather and her little crew have been working around the clock to finish off all the programs and iron all the costumes and this Saturday just gone some of the Dibley cast went into the town to hand out show flyers. Did you see any of them?
Sunday was get in at the South Holland Centre and for a lot of the Crew it was a very early start loading the 7.5 tonne lorry which it was full to the roof. You don't realise just how much equipment you need to do one show lol. So after several hours and a big, big team effort the set was finale up. The only big jobs left now lighting and sound, which I will get my teeth into this afternoon.
So all that’s left for me to say is thank you to my whole team and, of course, a massive thank you to my wonderful producer Heather. But the biggest thank you of all must go to all of you because as much as we love doing these shows, if it wasn’t for all of your support in coming to see it, none of this would happen.
Thank you all for reading my blog too and I'm now going to sign off for the final time on this show. Don’t worry if you have liked this I'm sure the next director will continue the tradition of this new online blogging.
Thank you all once more and enjoy the show
P.S don't forget to leave us a comment on our facebook page if you like the show!
A week to go
14 October 2014
Well here we all are again, welcome to my penultimate blog. Just one more to go after this one and I'm not sure if I'm happy about it coming to an end or not. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my Sunday evening after next week. Oh I know, get my teeth into the next St Nics show, well that's if I get a part, hehehe.
This week starts off with some very scary news, Sophie one of the stand ins and all round right had man (or woman hehehe) had a car accident but thankfully she got away with just miner cuts and bruises. I got to say Sophie is a real trouper. She still came to rehearsals, bless her, and hobbled around.
On to rehearsals, a very productive week, we are so close to perfection that all we really need to work on is some scenes where the pace drops a little. I'm sure one we get the audience in we will pick the pace up. In this week’s rehearsal the cast practiced all of the quick changes and I've got to say that, even though we didn't have any dressers to help, I was impressed at how quick they all managed to do it.
Heather has been working really hard on the programs for the show. They’re a little different to the normal type of program you would get and I really hope you all love them. I'm not going to say too much more but it should get you into the Christmas spirit.
Make sure you keep your eyes open this Saturday afternoon as the cast will be in the town centre handing out flyers so it’ll be your chance to see them. Feel free to go and have a chat with them and ask any burning questions you have for Alice, Jim, Owen and the rest of the Dibley Parish Council.
Well I'm going to leave you to it now and remember if you haven’t got your ticket yet you will need to get then now as the South Holland Centre told me that tickets are selling really fast!!
See you next week for my very last blog
Excited but scared
6 October 2014
OMG, I can’t believe we’ve only got sixteen short days before we finally get to show to the world all the hard work we have been putting in. I'm must say I'm getting quite excited about it now, then again on the other hand I'm also quite scared to know that we only have three rehearsals left before we get into the South Holland Centre!
This week’s had it ups and downs. Thursday was a real low point in our rehearsals and I really had to come down on the cast pretty hard. I know in any run the cast tends to hit the wall and we definitely had that at Thursday’s rehearsal. I think the cast was very flat, a little deflated and it didn’t help with this sick bug going around. Sunday’s rehearsal was completely different and it went 100 times better. I'm so proud of how the cast picked themselves up after being knocked down and how they took everything that what was said on board.
We now have 99% of the props and we’ve also finished costuming the whole show so the cast had a chance to practice the super quick changes they have in the show. I didn’t make it easy on them as in the original script it had a short scene-let but I believe that the show need an epilogue like we did in part one last year. Saying that, they all rose to the challenge.
Thank you all so much for coming back to the website and reading this blog. We’ve just two more entries before I hand it over to the next director for our spring production. Keep your eye and ears open as the next show will be announced very, very soon!
See you all next week!!!
Have you got your tickets yet?
28 September 2014
Tick tock tick tock, the Dibley clock is ticking and very soon we’ll be approaching our final hours. Have you all seen the papers this week? We’re not just in one paper but two! Yes that's right, we are in The Voice and we are also in The Guardian. If you want to come and see the show, and you haven't got your tickets yet, you have a great opportunity to win one of three pairs of tickets in the competition running in The Guardian. Make sure you also keep your ears open and listen to Tulip Radio as there will be another opportunity to win free tickets with them too.
This week has been the first week we’ve had a full cast for a long time so I decided to run act one on both Thursday and Sunday. Thursday rehearsal didn't go too badly at all, other than the pace yo- yoing which is to be expected and the cast pretty much went though it without any prompting. Today was a very long and slow rehearsal but I'm very proud of the whole team from the cast to the crew. Not only did we costume all off act one (anyone who came and watched last year’s show will know there’s a lot of costume changes) but we also did the first of our scheduled photo shoots and we ran all of act one as well! I can’t speak for the cast but I know I'm very tired.
I'm so pooped I'm going to draw this to a close for this week. If you haven't got your tickets for the show yet, I would strongly advise that you buy them soon as I know they’re selling very, very quickly. I wouldn't want you to be disappointed if you miss out.
Bye for now see you all next week.
Only a month to go
21 September 2014
Hello all, we are now just one month away from our opening night and I’ve got to say everyone is going the extra mile to make sure you get the very best show we can do. This week was the last of the rehearsals with missing cast members, so from next week we will be fine combing all of the scenes. We are now at a point where we can also start looking in detail at all of the technical elements of the show. It’s always very weird at this point of the run from my point of view. We are only a month from the opening night, most of my vision is now set and there’s not as much for me to do other than polish, polish, polish.
We've had another birthday this week and this time it was the turn of our very own Jim Trott, aka Nigel Hancocks. I hope you had a great day Nigel and that you didn't drink too much!
I must really applaud our Vicar, Alison Honeybun, as during this run she has had to do 28 essays for work as well as learn a massive amount of lines for the show. She didn’t get home from a trip away with work till the early hours of this morning, she still came to rehearsal today and to top it off it’s her twelfth wedding anniversary too!!! That just shows how committed she is to this show. Thank you so much Alison, I know it hasn't been easy and happy anniversary.
I would like to thank you all for coming back to read this blog. I really do appreciate it. See you all next week.
Have you seen our banner?
16 September 2014
Hello all and welcome back, can you believe this is my tenth blog? Where has the time gone? This week I would like to start off with a big birthday wish. This time it not a cast members birthday but it happens to be a special little man who has been coming to most rehearsals. So without further ado, from myself and the rest of the cast, a massive happy birthday to George Sinclair.
I've got to say that this week has been a very hard week for all of us involved with Dibley. We’ve had illness, babysitter problems and the last of the holidays to deal with. But saying that even though we had 40% of the cast away for one reason or another they have acted very professionally and we still managed to do a full run. I'm very proud of each and every one of the cast and crew. They have been doing everything I have thrown at them and more. We are also now getting on top of all the technical elements and I'm very excited as it getting to that point in the run when I get to dress the characters (not literally as that would be wrong, hehe) but I get to chose what they’re in scene to scene. This show is very heavy on costumes and requires a lot of quick costume changes. This is one of the only shows where we have to practice the costume changes several weeks before the show. But all the effort really pays off in the long run.
Have you spotted our banner yet? The first one is now up and the second one to follow very shortly. Also keep your eye open for our posters and flyers which will soon be popping up all over the place. If you do grab a flyer don't forget to read the back of it!
OK guy got to go now, don't forget to keep checking out our films on line. See you all next time. Bye for now!
A real team effort
8 September 2014
Here we are again as another week passes, I can’t believe the show is only seven weeks away. Rehearsals have been great and we’ve also had a visit from our Chairman, Arline Evenden. I think it gives the cast a real boost when new faces come though the door to watch and really reassures them that the stuff they’re doing is very funny. As you may be aware, when you’re doing the same gags, week in week out, it starts to feel like it’s not as funny any more. So that’s why we really appreciate visitors every now and again.
This week myself, Heather, Jules and Emma spent the morning sourcing costumes for the cast and the ones we spent the most time on are for the nativity. I can’t wait for you guys to see them and I hope you’ll all love it as much as I do. Thank you to them all for working so hard. I know it’s never an easy task.
Whilst I'm thanking people, I would like to thank Nigel, aka Jim Trott, who is not only working hard acting but he has also made loads of great props. Thank you so much. Oh and I cant forget about Anne Temple, aka Mrs C, who has also been working a double roll as she has been lending her hand in making costumes. What I love about Vicar Of Dibley is it’s a real team effort from all departments.
Today we had a very special visitor but I can tell you to much as this is going to be a surprise for show week. So if you’re coming to see it make sure you keep your eye and ears open. All I will tell you is it will be happening in the interval.
Right that's me done for another week. See you all again soon. And don't forget to leave us a comment or a like on this weeks video!!
Have you seen our surprise?
4 September 2014
Surprise! Have you all seen it? Yes that right, our first surprise has been released on our Facebook page and on here you can also see it on the Facebook events page set up for the show. For the next seven weeks you will get to meet a different member of the Dibley Parish Council. Each of the cast has worked really hard to write their own scripts and we can’t wait for you, the audience, to see them. When you do see them why not leave us a comment or ‘like’ it to show the cast your support.
So this week I am writing this blog a lot later than normal, as we’ve had to move our rehearsal day from Sunday to Tuesday. The wonderful ACT II are gearing up for their production of Tommy at the South Holland Centre from the 17th to 20th September. Make sure you grab your tickets and this show will be one you don’t want to miss!
Now back to our rehearsals and for the second time we held our rehearsals at the hospital. It was a bit tight in the room to run the whole of act 2 but we got though it. All of the cast have made a real effort to get themselves off script before their deadline of September 4th so well done to you all.
Heather has also been working really hard this week. As I said before most people do not know how much work has to go into a show outside of rehearsals. She has been juggling multiple jobs from costumes to posters plus loads and loads of other jobs that would bore you if I go into too much detail. Heather I just want to say you are doing one hell of a job and I salute you. I know I can be quite demanding!
Ok, that's all for today folks. Make sure you check back in with us next week and don't forget to like of leave us a comment on our videos. See you all soon
The books are down ...
26 August 2014
Hello all, welcome to week number seven. This week’s blog will be a short one unfortunately as we only had one rehearsal this week. I decided to cancel Sunday rehearsal as it was a bank holiday weekend and lots of the cast wanted to go off and do stuff. I thought it was only fair as they have all been working very hard.
This week it was not just the actors moving forward but the production team too. As the weeks go by we need to really start getting organised production wise. Very few people who come to the theatre really think about the logistics of a show, such as the set, the costumes and props. This is where my wonderful producer, Heather, comes into it. It’s her job to sort out all of these bits and bobs. So this week I sat down with Heather for our first big meeting since she cam back from her holidays and we’re now on the same page and moving forwards at a pace. Keep your eyes peeled, the promotional campaign will be starting in the next week or two.
Now onto rehearsals and this week we had another special visitor Nigel, aka Jim Trot’s, sister in law came up from Cornwall for the week. She said, and I quote, how “brilliant the cast is” and how she can see “it’s going to be a great show”. Well I guess you the audience will have to decide that when you all come and see it in October. This week I felt it was very slow and disjointed but I believe this is because a lot of the cast are now trying to get their books down. I do expect it to do this for the next couple of weeks while the cast gets used to not working off their scripts. Still we went through the whole of the second half, which is great.
So that’s me done for this week, next weeks will be slightly later in the week as I'm moving the Sunday rehearsal to a Tuesday. Oh and also keep coming back to our Facebook and web page as there will be a little surprise loaded up on the 1st September. See you all next time.
Cake Sundays are back
19 August 2014
Wow a second blog in the same week. That will teach me for moving a rehearsal last week. Well I’ve got to say that the Dibley train is in full motion now and next week we will be half way to our final destination of the South Holland Centre.
So on to this week’s rehearsals, we have finished all the blocking so now the really hard work begins. It really great to see some of the cast trying to get their books down before deadline day, the 4th of September. All the bare bones of the show are there now and all we need to work on is character relationships. The show story has moved on to season 3 and the characters have developed with the times. I have no worry that this will come in the next couple of week as all the cast has such a great bond and you can really see it come across when they all work together on the stage.
It was really nice to see George Ogden, St Nics President, pop in today to see how we are getting on. It’s really reassuring when he was laughing out loud as we was rehearsing. If we can make one person laugh I’m hopping we can make two hundred plus of you laugh. Also it was really nice to see cake Sunday come back. Last year every Sunday someone made a cake. We haven’t had any this time around until this week. Thank you Heather for making some lovely mince pies. I got to say I didn't get one but I’m sure there was really nice.
Time to sign off for anther week. Oh I almost forgot, only two weeks until our first surprise will be released this year so keep your eyes peeled. Bye for now see you all next week!!!
Dragon boats & hospitals
13 August 2014
Hello guys sorry for the delay in this week blog. I had to move the Sunday rehearsal to a Tuesday as I was doing a charity dragon boat race. If you can all recall it was raining on Sunday, man I’ve never been so wet in all my days. I don't think I needed a boat in the end I was that wet. Anyway, we won our first race but when we got onto the water for our second race the clouds were like something from ‘Independence Day’. The race ended up being cancelled as some of the tents got blown away and the rain came down really heavy. Well that's filled you in on my race, now to tell you all about what you have come here to read, the show.
There was a birthday this week and this time it was the turn of our very own vicar to celebrate being another year older. Happy twenty first birthday Alison Honeybun (it’s ok hun you real age is safe with me, hehe). This week’s rehearsals have been great as we have achieved so much. We are on week five and the cast is just two scenes away from completing phase one all the blocking. Last Thursday I only had two cast members in as we worked on all the scenes that involve the vicar and Alice. I’ve got to say the relationship that the two characters have within the show is absolutely superb and I believe that this will come across very well on the stage.
Our Tuesday’s rehearsal has to be a first for me personally. We had for the first time in St Nics history a rehearsal in a hospital, thank you Simon for sorting it out for us. You’re a lifesaver (those of you who know Simon will get the joke, hehe). The cast worked on the last scene at the hospital and I think from my point of view, it’s the hardest scene to get the balance of comedy and drama right. I think we have just about done it but I will leave that up to you guys when you all come to see it. If you don't feel a little moved or a little Christmassy I will eat my hat! Maybe I shouldn't have said that because now someone's going to tell me they weren’t moved lol.
Thank you all for keeping coming back to read my blog and I look forward to writing the next one very soon. Bye for now!!!!
Holidays, disasters & a superstar cast
4 August 2014
Here we all are again This week I've been flying solo as my producer Heather has gone on her holidays to Venice. How lucky is she!? I hope you bring me some nice glass back from St Marcos square Heather, hehehe.
So onto this week’s rehearsal antics and it’s been another hard week as I had not one, but two, last minute no shows. The first was on Thursday when I had a text from Simon, aka Hugo, who had come down with a bug. I hope you are feeling better now Simon. The second was at Sunday’s rehearsal when I received a text from Mike (Owen). Mike wasn’t ill but has had one of the worst pieces of luck I've heard in a long time. He's only gone and got a burst water pipe in the night, which flooded his kitchen and to top it all off his roof has caved in with all the water. I really hope from the bottom of my heart you get it fixed with minimal disruption to your home Mike.
Sophie this week has been a superstar, as she has had to play so many different characters. I think she will soon know the roles as well as the cast who are playing them in the show. Today (Sunday) Sophie had to play three different roles and all I can say is a massive well done hun.
A massive well done to two other cast members, Nigel and Nick, too who were set a task to devise two group scripts. I'm not going to tell you guys what they are for or when these short scripts will appear but I've got to say they’re very good. I think you two have captured all the characters beautifully.
Before I go I just want to remind you all that tickets are now on sale at the South Holland Centre. So make sure you get your tickets nice and early to avoid missing all the best seats. Right I'm going to sign off for this week. I hope you all have a great week and I will see you all next week for another exciting installment.
29 July 2014
Hello all, I hope you've all had a great week. I can't believe how quick the weeks are going. OK so I am going to start off by personally saying sorry to Charlotte and Karl (owners of Act II). As you may be aware all of our rehearsals this year are taking place at the Act II studio and for the past couple of week we have been using their sofas for the vicarage. Well Amber, aka Alice Tinker, was sitting on the arm as she does, slid down the side and accidentally ripped the cover. Lucky for us we have a superstar on the sowing machine. Thank you so much Anne for doing the repair. I hope Charlotte and Karl are happy with the result.
Now on to the show. The rehearsal on Thursday wasn’t our finest hour. I believe this is because all of the teachers we have in the cast have relaxed as school’s out. But everyone through the course of the show rehearsals will get a chance to re charge their battery. But saying that our Sunday rehearsal was completely different. I cannot believe that we are three weeks in and we have already blocked all of act one and we ran the whole first act! Well done all, I know your all working very hard.
Well it very late as I write this blog and my brain is frazzled, so I'm going to bid you farewell for this week. Keep your eyes open for the next installment next week.
Surprises and graduations
20 July 2014
Welcome back to another instalment of my weekly directors blog. I want to start this week report by saying I'm very excited about the little surprises we have install for you all. Without going into too much detail, I would like to say a huge well done to Anne Temple (Mrs Cropley) for her part in the surprise. It is very, very funny and I can’t wait for the public reaction to it. I know that what you have achieved Anne will inspire the rest of the cast to aim as high. I would also like to take this time to congratulate another of our cast members, Sophie Honeybun, who officially graduated from uni this week. Well done you. It’s been a very busy week for her as not only has she graduated but it was also her birthday. So on behalf of all the cast and crew, happy birthday hun.
Remember last week when I said there would be one or two twists along the way? Well one of those twists happened this week. Now I know there will always be cast members missing during summer rehearsals, when they are going to be away on holiday etc, that's fine and that is why I've got two great stand ins, Jules and Sophie. So the first one to miss a rehearsal was our vicar Alison Honeybun. Thursday’s rehearsal went really well and to plan with Jules standing in but unfortunately today rehearsal didn’t. Alison was to return to rehearsals today but I received a text from her, which meant we had to cancel it. Bless her; she returned from Turkey in the early hours of this morning and, without going into to much detail, lets just say something did not agree with her. Alison I hope you feel better soon and make a full recovery ready to put in a lot of hard work on Thursday. I believe in the cast and I know we will work hard over the next couple of weeks to catch up this unforeseen mishap.
Well that’s all I really have to talk about this week. Make sure you tune in same time same bat channel. Hold on wrong show hahaha. Look forward to talking to you all soon.
The Dibley journey begins
15 July 2014
So it finally here!! After several weeks of planning and casting, we’ve finally got the Dibley train back out of the box, back on the tracks and we’ve now started our journey. It’s going to be a long trip with twists and turns along the way but I know the team will get the train to it final destination of the South Holland Centre.
If you came and watched part one last October then part two is a must see. If you didn’t manage to see the first one, part two is still a must see!! The beauty about ‘VOD’ is that it doesn’t mater if you see the first part or not as you can pick the story line up no problem. Part two is based on series 3 of the TV show and focuses on the radio episode and the nativity Christmas special. I must admit I’ve read a lot of comedy scripts in my time but this is the first one that has made me laugh out loud over and over again.
The cast have just completed their first two rehearsals and I must say it’s like they’ve never been apart, they just slotted straight in. The line up for ‘A Vicar of Dibley Christmas’ is exactly the same cast as last time apart from Owen. I would like to give a special thank you to Kieran Watson who play Owen in part one for all his hard work. I know he was gutted that he couldn’t be in part two. I speak on behalf of the cast when I say we would like to wish Kieran all the best for the start of his new uni life in September and don't be a stranger!!. Now on to our new Owen and I would like to give a massive welcome to Mike Barron. It amazing how quick he has slotted in to the roll. I know you are going to be amazing Mike.
Although we have already completed part one that doesn’t mean the cast will get an easy time during rehearsals. As the ‘VOD’ TV series developed, so did all the characters and so our cast must develop too. I have also set a serious of challenges for them this year. I will not go into to too much detail, as I don’t want to spoil the surprises for you all.
So on that note I'm going to sign off for this week. Make sure you all follow the next installment this time next week