As Vicar of Dibley set for Wisbech opening, director admits ‘we have laughed out loud until our sides hurt during rehearsals’

Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society preparing for The Vicar of Dibley. Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society preparing for The Vicar of Dibley.

Saturday, May 24, 2014
11:31 PM

The cast and crew of Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society (WAODS) are working flat out at the moment with the final preparations for their latest production The Vicar of Dibley.

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Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society preparing for The Vicar of Dibley.  Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society preparing for The Vicar of Dibley.

Costumes, wigs and props are being sourced and the set being constructed in readiness for the show’s opening night on June 3 at 7.30pm at St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Wisbech.

Barbara Mews, the director of the show, said: “We have laughed out loud until our sides hurt during rehearsals, the script is hilarious and the cast are amazing at delivering it.

“All of them have worked so hard on their characterisations; it’s like sitting down in front of the TV and watching the original cast! “Performing it in a church also makes it very special and Father Paul and the Church Council have made us feel so welcome.’

“Performing a play rather than a musical has been a challenge for the Society, and we have several new cast members, as well as some ‘old faces’, but the company has bonded so well, we feel like a Dibley ‘family’.”

Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society preparing for The Vicar of Dibley.  Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society preparing for The Vicar of Dibley.

Isobel Shippey, WAODS’ press officer said; “We are advising people to buy their tickets sooner rather than later, because they are selling quickly as it is proving a popular show, and the tickets are a bargain at £10 each.”

If you would like to buy tickets for The Vicar of Dibley please call the box office hotline on 07857 887 059, or the box office is open Saturday 24 May – Saturday 31 May 10am – 3pm at Etcetera on York Row.

It’s difficult to decide when WAODS was actually founded. Tradition has it beginning in 1921, but its real beginnings can be traced to the 1890s when a group of local people gathered to perform recitals from operas in the Cambridgeshire town of Wisbech, the Capital of the Fens.

The first official report of WAODS was in a 1905 newspaper review that reported on the formation of a group called the Wisbech Amateur Operatic Society who performed “A Moss Rose Rent” in front of an enthusiastic audience at the Selwyn Hall. The show was organised on behalf of the North Cambs Hospital and raised £60 for the hospital.

Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society preparing for The Vicar of Dibley.  Wisbech Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society preparing for The Vicar of Dibley.

In 1926 the Wisbech Amateur Operatic Society changed its name to become the present Wisbech Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society ‘in order that, if desirable, dramatic works could be produced in addition to light operas.’

WAODS has been providing top quality shows in Wisbech for over one hundred years, and still stands by its 1950 ‘mission statement’ – ‘the aim of the Society shall be to cultivate the arts of music and drama and the encouragement of the public appreciation of those arts.’

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