Di and Viv and Rose at Hampstead Theatre
This is a women’s world! And what women! Di and Viv and Rose is the new production from award winning duo Amelia Bullmore (playwright) and Anna Mackmin (director). It is the first time a play has moved from Hampstead’s Downstairs Theatre space to the main stage, and it’s a very good thing.
The story focuses on three women who meet at university in the 1980s, share a house and remain friends for the rest of their lives. And judging by the laughs in the audience, most of the spectators would have loved to join them and share the fun of playing air guitar to Prince! It’s funny, loving, fresh and entertaining despite some lengthy passages, which are soon forgotten amid the fantastic energy of the three talented actresses. Anna Maxwell Martin lights up the stage as the enchanting and innocent Rose, who discovers the pleasure of sleeping with (a lot of) boys. In contrast, Viv (Gina McKee), dressed as if it was the war, prefers to write a thesis on “the corset”. Tamzin Outhwaite stood out as the homosexual Di, a role she played with rare sensitivity and emotion. These three dance, cry, laugh – and we are with them. They become a family before our eyes and welcome the audience into their lives. Almost every subject seems to be broached: friendship, homosexuality, love, motherhood, death, studies, jobs, separation… but this is one of very few plays that really focus on female relationships as separate from men or children. Sometimes, it seems heavy-handed (sad music, a speech too well thought out) or a little undeveloped (choppy transitions, inequality between the first and the second act), but in the end, everything springs back perfectly.
So don’t wait, go and enjoy a warm moment with Di and Viv and Rose in the beautiful and welcoming Hampstead Theatre.
Di and Viv and Rose is at the Hampstead Theatre until 23rd February 2013. For further information or to book tickets visit the theatre’s website here.