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Di and Viv and Rose at the White Bear Theatre | Review

Di and Viv and Rose
Di and Viv and Rose – Photo by Ali Wright

Di and Viv and Rose is one of the most beautifully written and intricate plays I have ever had the privilege to see. Amelia Bullmore, best known perhaps for her TV work such as Scott and Bailey, has produced a script that is both hilariously witty and deeply moving. Seeing the play in the West End I fell in love with it instantly, and, having read it several times since I was very excited to see it performed again.

The story is a simple one, three friends who meet at a university where perhaps they find acceptance for the first time. They live together, laugh together and argue together, overcoming the challenges and celebrating the triumphs as one. The whole story serves to demonstrate just how strong friendship can be, and therefore the tragedy of when it is taken away. The beauty is in the fact that every single person can relate to this show in some way, everyone can wonder ‘what if this happened to me?’ You cannot fail to be moved, all while being assaulted by brilliant jokes and one-liners.

However, this particular production just didn’t quite work for me. Many of the jokes fell flat, those that I did laugh at were not well received by the whole audience, and whilst the sense of tragedy was spot on, the sense of friendship and fun was totally lost. I just didn’t believe in the friendship of the three women, the relationship felt awkward and forced, and as a result, the first half dragged a bit.

The latter part of the first half and the second half were better, Jo Shirley playing Viv proved herself to be a stunning actress as she dealt with the anger and pain of the various tragedies that befall the friends, and her performance was easily the most believable.

The use of music in this production was fantastic – different hit songs from different eras were used to show the passing of time, and sudden changes in the mood of the music were used to show shifts in the tone and emotion of the show to great effect, especially in the second act when the songs became more reflective and thoughtful, directly contrasting to the upbeat nature of the first act.

Ultimately, Di and Viv and Rose is such a relatable and well-written story that you cannot fail to enjoy it and, despite its issues, I had a pleasant evening at the theatre. However, it is frustrating that the full potential of the script was not always realised in the way that it could have been which somewhat mutes the impact of the show.

3 Star Review

Review by Emily Diver

How do you want to live here? I mean we could come and go and lead separate lives. Or we could really live together. What do you think?

Aged 18, three women join forces. Life is fun. Living is intense. Together they feel unassailable. Crackling with wisdom and wit, Di and Viv and Rose is a humorous and thoughtful exploration of friendship’s impact on life and life’s impact on friendship.

The play charts the steady but sometimes chaotic progression of these three women’s lives and their ultimately enduring bonds. The varied journeys of their lives take their toll on the characters, forcing them apart and stretching their relationships with each other to a near breaking point.

Creative Team
Written by Amelia Bullmore
Directed by Robyn Hoedemaker
Di – Bernadett Ostorhazi
Viv – Jo Shirley
Rose – Julia Papp

Di and Viv and Rose
by Amelia Bullmore
https://www.whitebeartheatre.co.uk

Author

  • Emily Gami

    I am a 25 year old Geography teacher who really loves the theatre. I first fell in love with the theatre when I was 15 and since moving to London 4 years ago I have tried to see as many shows as possible. On the rare occasions I am not at work or at the theatre I can usually be found on a tennis court or curled up somewhere with a good book

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