Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Review: Di and Viv and Rose at the Vaudeville Theatre

Di and Viv and Rose
Vaudeville Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 3rd February 2015

Plays like Di and Viv and Rose don't come along very often. Playwright Amelia Bullmore allows her audience to live and breathe the friendship shared between these three women from when they join forces at uni aged eighteen right through to facing the troubles of adulthood.

The majority of the first act focuses on establishing the bond between Di and Viv and Rose. We discover who they are, what makes them tick and what their futures could hold. Although they are three very different characters, Di and Viv and Rose instantly click and thrive off each other's energy. 

Tamzin Outhwaite, Samantha Spiro and Jenna Russell are all phenomenal actresses who bring sincerity and heart to the piece. They each  beautifully make the transition from carefree students to women living in the 'real world'. The act one design is warm and comfy, whilst in the second half the set it empty and open which carefully complements the mood.

Tamzin Outhwaite is feisty but later touchingly portrays Di's softer side whilst Samantha Spiro comes into her own as Viv's life takes her in a whole new direction. For me, the stand out performance came from the truly magnificent Jenna Russell who captures the comedy exquisitely, but never hides Rose's inner vulnerability. Russell's stage presence is mesmerising and I felt the most compassion for Rose, in fact I would happily pop round to Di and Viv and Rose's flat for a cup of tea.

Anna Mackmin's production lulls its audience info a false sense of security, before dropping various bombshells throughout; several of which I found hugely moving. It took me a while to get into the piece and it takes a little too long to conclude which is a shame, as the rest of the time I was either laughing my head off or wiping away a tear. 

Although sex and relationships are mentioned throughout, it is so refreshing to watch a play which has friendship at its core. Di and Viv and Rose will really capture the imaginations and speak to certain people. It's different, a little stylish and performed by a stellar cast.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Di and Viv and Rose runs at the Vaudeville Theatre until Saturday 23rd May 2015.
Please visit for information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Johan Persson

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