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Review: Rowan Atkinson in Quartermaine's Terms at the Wyndhams

Review: Did Di and Viv and Rose at the Hampstead Theatre impress all over again?

Di_2448696bLoved 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.

The two new cast members step into the shoes of Viv and Rose as if they were a perfect fit. Maxwell Martin, arguably has more to work with and hits the ball out of the park with her performance as the ever cheerful and optimistic Rose. Viv is more reserved as a character and it is a testament to McKee's talent that a trace of reserve is ever present, even in the most emotionally charged scenes.

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

Top Story, Old Vic Tunnels


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*