Vicar of Dibley Pops Into World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

September 30, 2013

The Vicar of Dibley helped raise some laughs as well as money for charity when she popped into the Dolman Theatre for the world’s biggest coffee morning.

Karen Davies in her role as the vicar of Dibley spreads the word about the forthcoming production to visitors to the coffee morning (left to right) Kath Taylor, Pam Bellew and Carol Humphries.

Karen Davies in her role as the vicar of Dibley spreads the word about the forthcoming production to visitors to the coffee morning (left to right) Kath Taylor, Pam Bellew and Carol Humphries. (Photo: Phil Mansell)

People who came to the theatre to help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support were able to see Karen Davies rehearsing for the role made famous by Dawn French in the hit TV series.

As visitors enjoyed their coffee and cakes, Karen went around in character as the Rev Geraldine Granger spreading the word about the play which Newport Playgoers are staging at the theatre from 13 – 16 November.

Organiser Steve Bissex-Williams with Kelly Molmoth of Cupcakes whose stall proved particularly popular. (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Organiser Steve Bissex-Williams with Kelly Molmoth of Cupcakes whose stall proved particularly popular. (Photo: Phil Mansell)

As well as coffee and cake, visitors also enjoyed craft stalls selling a host of gift items and were able to take a guided tour of the theatre.

“So far we have raised around £450 for this very worthy cause and we are still waiting for donations from Saturday’s successful event,” said Playgoer Steve Bissex-Williams.

The event, which started in 1990, invites people across the UK  to hold a coffee morning, where donations on the day are made to Macmillan. In 2012 115,000 people signed up to coffee morning, raising a record £15 million.

Jon Dunn entertained visitors with a medley of songs at the piano.

Jon Dunn entertained visitors with a medley of songs at the piano.
(Photo: Phil Mansell)

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‘Beauty Queen’ is looking good!

September 18, 2013
Life is a constant battle of wills between Maureen (Meryl Herbert) and her conniving mother Mag (Eileen Symonds).

Life is a constant battle of wills between Maureen (Meryl Herbert) and her conniving mother Mag (Eileen Symonds). (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Next month’s production by Newport Playgoers is The Beauty Queen of Leenane,  a wild blend of outrageous comedy thriller, violence and grand melodrama.

Written by Martin McDonagh, the play rocketed him to fame when it opened in the West End in 1996, winning a nomination for Best Play at the Olivier Awards, with the subsequent Broadway production winning four Tony Awards.

Maureen (Meryl Herbert) finds a last chance of romance with Pato (David Livingstone), a simple-minded labourer

Maureen (Meryl Herbert) finds a last chance of romance with Pato (David Livingstone), a simple-minded labourer (Photo: Phil Mansell)

This hysterically comedic, edge-of-your-seat play charts the life of Maureen Folan, a 40-year-old virgin and her relationship with her manipulative mother, a sour old woman self-exiled to a rocking chair who persecutes her daughter with demands for porridge.

In their lonely cottage in the mountains of County Galway, Maureen bites back until the chance of escape comes in the shape of Pato, a simple-minded local who has returned from working in England. Maureen sees this as her last chance for love.

However, as their relationship flourishes a shocking and disturbing train of events is set in motion…

Maureen (Meryl Herbet) is tempted to conk Ray (James Symonds) on the noggin with a poker (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Maureen (Meryl Herbet) is tempted to conk Ray (James Symonds)
on the noggin with a poker (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Since writing this play, McDonagh has been as well known for his movies as for his plays with In Bruges earning him an Oscar nomination and Seven Psychopaths gaining critical acclaim in 2012.

‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane is at the Dolman Theatre from 16 – 19 October 2013.


New Look Dolman Theatre

September 4, 2013
Steve Bissex-Williams outside the new look Dolman Theatre (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Steve Bissex-Williams outside the new look Dolman Theatre.(Photo: Phil Mansell)

Anyone passing the Dolman Theatre will have hopefully noticed the bright new frontage that is now in place. This is just one of many innovations being put in place by the new Front of House Manager, Steve Bissex-Williams.

There are many more changes to come which we are sure will greatly enhance your theatre-going experience.

Inside the theatre, a group of volunteers have been assisting Becky Phillips and Steve in re-organising the Dolman’s extensive wardrobe department during the closed season.

Becky Phillips and Steve Bissex-Williams with some of the many volunteers who helped revamp the wardrobe department (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Becky Phillips and Steve Bissex-Williams with some of the many volunteers who helped re-organise the wardrobe department. (Photo: Phil Mansell)

This has involved cleaning the department from top to bottom and sorting through hundreds of dresses, coats, hats, shoes, shirts and blouses from every era imaginable. New shelving and hanging rails were constructed to make it easier to locate the plethora of items which ranged from jewellery and fascinators to ties and waistcoats.

Steve said, “A big thank you to everyone who came to the rescue of wardrobe over the course of three weekends. All your efforts were much appreciated.”

Head of Wardrobe Becky Phillips with Steve Bissex-Williams in the revamped wardrobe department. (Photo: Phil Mansell)

Head of Wardrobe Becky Phillips with Steve Bissex-Williams in the revamped wardrobe department. (Photo: Phil Mansell)