Start with a dog-collar, add a dash of drama and ensure there are plenty of fun and frolics – these are the requirements for Don’t Get Your Vicars in a Twist by Lesley Bown & Anne Gawthorp.
Desperate to find the funds to pay for his daughter’s wedding, churchwarden George decides to rent out the vicarage to a touring theatre company, who are to stage a Murder Mystery weekend. However, events take a turn for the worse when Bishop Herbert rings the vicarage to announce that he is to visit to meet his new vicar….
Once again, RAODS present a fast-moving farce which combines elements of the church, chaos and cross-dressing! There are strong performances from the entire cast of eleven, and they certainly gave an evening of superb entertainment to the sold-out auditorium. Neil Gwynne (George) delivers a slick performance as the central character, alongside Malcolm Clarke (Ronald) who provides a refined and comedic portrayal with plenty of innuendos. Commendation must be given to director Nick Longland for the effective use of staging and for ensuring that diction is clear and precise. It certainly is refreshing to go to a production where one can actually hear every word!
The set is simple, but effective and appropriate for a production of this scale. Credit must be awarded to set designer John Witham, as incorporating five separate entrances and a staircase is certainly not an easy task. All in all, this seems to work well, although I did feel at times as though I was watching a tennis match with my head turning from one side of the stage to the other and trying to guess which door would open next!
RAODS continues to provide entertainment for their loyal following and they certainly are a valuable group in the community. This is indeed a fun and witty production, which runs every evening at 7.30 until 13 May.