A MUCH-loved chocoholic vicar and her eccentric parishioners will be gracing a Richmond stage as part of a drama society’s 80th anniversary celebrations.

Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society is preparing to open its production of the Vicar of Dibley at the Georgian Theatre Royal on Thursday (July 24) to Saturday (July 26), and again on Thursday, July 31 to Saturday, August 2.

The stage version of the Vicar of Dibley, based on the popular sitcom starring Dawn French and Roger Lloyd Pack, features the many inhabitants of the fictional Oxfordshire village of Dibley, including the pompous David and his son Hugo, the dippy verger Alice Tinker, the incomprehensible Jim, Frank the dull parish clerk, and foul-mouthed Owen.

Ann Greer, who plays Rev Geraldine Grainger, said: "As a method actress, I insisted on copious amounts of chocolate and cake to get me into character.

“I believe if God hadn't intended us to eat chocolate, then the elasticised waistband wouldn't have been invented.”

The multiple award-winning The Vicar of Dibley was one of the BBC's most popular sitcoms, winning numerous British awards over the years, and an international Emmy.

RADS have announced that the 13p raised from the sale of Mrs Cropley's anchovy and lemon curd tartlets during rehearsals has been donated to the Georgian Theatre Royal's Anniversary Appeal.

The show will start at 7.30pm each night and tickets cost £6.50 to £12.50. To book contact the theatre box office on 01748-825252 or visit georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk.