Dominatrix’s Rack in Vicar’s Parlour

Susan Stanley Carroll reviews Tied To The Vicarage at the Tabard Theatre

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The Tabard Theatre

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The U.K Premiere of ‘Tied to the Vicarage’ opened a couple of nights ago to a buzzing and packed auditorium. The lively audience were keenly looking forward to this risqué farce, as they had been sweetly welcomed by the saucy transvestite maid in the foyer. Their merry chuckles developed to guffaws as the play progressed into an, at times, over the top spectacle.

tied to the vicarage cast

The plot concerns James, a Vicar, and his wife, Karen, who leave their sister-in-law, Julia, in charge of their vicarage. They are unaware that she has changed her career. Julia has been operating from the vicarage as a dominatrix. When the Bishop hears they are not living at the vicarage he encourages them to return to it. Julia leaves. However, much to the Vicar’s consternation a parcel of adult equipment arrives, as well as, two of Julia’s clients. All this occurs on the day the local clergy meet at James’ vicarage. A perfect storm ensues.

Ensuing moments of madness erupt and although funny at times, it lacks pace and some of the jokes were too corny. Farce, however, is a difficult genre to sustain and to deliver. The adult equipment certainly amused the audience! Our eyes may briefly goggle as we amble past our local vicarage! No such happenings will be acted out in that charming family home.

Paul Hughes, as the Bishop, and a delivery man, is a familiar face from film and television. He is superb as the quizzical Bishop and gives the production an air of gravitas. Most of the actors doubled up as other characters and this they do with verve and energy. The cast include Charles Camrose, Amelia Edwards, Emmas Von Schreiber, Laura England, Michael Harrison and Will Langley.

knotted rope

‘Tied to the Vicarage’ has some amusing moments, however, I have definitely seen many better shows in this cosy studio theatre, for instance, the outstanding ‘Lady With A Little Dog’ and the outrageously funny ‘Sexy Laundry’. Unfortunately, this farce, at times, fails to hit the spot. 2019 will bring an exciting new season of diverse productions to the Tabard Theatre. Simon Reilly, the Manager, should be congratulated for commissioning many superb shows last year.

Susan Stanley-Carroll

January 21, 2019

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