Di and Viv and Rose at the Vaudeville
This play follows the exploits of the titular three characters: Di, a sporty and pragmatic lesbian, Viv, a prim and proper feminist, and Rose, a big-hearted girl with an even bigger appetite for boys. At first they seem like unlikely friends, but as the play progresses we see them fall into, and occasionally out of, a wonderful, dysfunctional friendship that will resonate with anyone watching.
At first, the three friends seem like two-dimensional caricatures of 80s stereotypes, but as we get to know them, it becomes apparent this is not the case. Like many students keen to make a good impression on their peers, they have each built a character for themselves to inhabit, and much of the play is concerned with peeling away these outer layers to reveal the vulnerability of the person within.
There are some genuinely shocking twists and turns, which can often feel arbitrarily misplaced, but the real interest of the piece is not what happens, but how the characters deal with it. Each time a tragedy threatens to tear apart their friendship, Di, Viv and Rose remind us of our wonderful ability to smile through tears, and to keep our demons away with a laugh.
Stylistically the show is a perfect nostalgia fest for anyone who grew up in the 80s, and a glimpse through time for those who didn’t. Paul Wills’ set is all bright green bowls and ghetto-blasters, while Simon Baker’s sound design is essentially a “Best of the 80s” CD, most notable for his inventive use of The Cure’s Lovecats in the opening of the show .
This show is many things: a sitcom, a drama, a nostalgic slice of the past, but most of all it’s a good night out.
Di and Viv and Rose is on at Vaudeville Theatre until 23rd May 2015, for further information or to book visit here.