Review: Did Di and Viv and Rose at the Hampstead Theatre impress all over again?
Loved Di and Viv and Rose when I saw it first time around at the Hampstead Theatre's smaller downstairs space in 2011. Then the trio of the title was made up of Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicola Walker and Claudie Blakley.
Outhwaite reprises her role as Di and is joined by Anna Maxwell Martin as Rose and Gina McKee as Viv in Hampstead's bigger, upstairs theatre but is it as good as I remember?
What I loved about the play the first time, aside from the treat of seeing a story about and performed solely by women, is the warmth and humour in the script. It is about the life long friendships that are formed through the trials and tribulations of growing up.
Di and Viv and Rose meet at University and share a house. They are all very different people but become firm friends and the play explores those bonds of friendship. Life's slings and arrows are dealt with matter-of -factly, playwright Amelia Bullmore tackling issues such as lesbianism, rape, sex and pregnancy without judgement or preaching.
But plaudits must go to Outhwaithe as the dependable and sensible Di who not only had me in stitches (stonewash denim jump-suit, is all I'll say) but also silently weeping.
I loved Di and Viv and Rose all over again for its humour and warmth and can't recommend it enough. It runs at the Hampstead Theatre until February 23. If you don't believe me about how good it is, give Poly's review a read.
Seen and recommend:
No Quarter, Royal Court Upstairs
The talented Ms Outhwaite was in the recent film adaptation of Great Expectation, as was Ralph Fiennes who, of course, worked with Mr W in Skyfall.
*Post post addition, just realised there is a direct connection, Anna Maxwell Martin played Lyra in His Dark Materials at the National in which Mr W made his stage debut in the tiny role of Brother Jasper*