Thursday, July 18

Di, Viv and Rose – Altrincham Garrick Studio

Opening tonight at Altrincham’s Garrick Studio, the final play of their all-female season,  Amelia Bullmore’s Di Viv and Rose explores the theme of female friendship; those relationships found in the formative years of a woman’s life when she meets those women who become her sisters in life, the family that she choses and with whom she grows and develops.

Di, Viv and Rose meet in their first term at university, thrown together in a hall of residence and then bonding into housemates as they experience their first taste of independence, follow dreams, have crushes, share secrets and desires and study for their degrees. It follows them through many highs and lows and into womanhood, motherhood, careers and explores their loves and their losses.

Eleanor Herdson (Di), Georgina Brame (Viv) and Rachel Isbister (Rose) present a great rapport between their three characters and it was easy for the audience to connect with the coming and goings of their student life in the 1980s, their post graduation progression and the challenges that adulthood presents to them. Always anchored to each other, despite their very different characters and personalities, their unit worked beautifully well, with excellent comedy and strong compassion.

Director Helen Horridge brings this sharply witty script to life with skill and presents a well paced and nicely observed narrative. The deep connection between these women is at the heart of the piece; their petty bickering over laundry chores and domestic life, their closing of ranks when one is deeply and painfully hurt, their celebrations of each other’s successes and life events – all presented with a mature empathy and a keen comic eye.

Musical choices take us on a journey of 1980s favourites and add an enjoyable nostalgia to the piece. Set design is simple and works with well chosen props but is more successful in the first half than the second.

All in all this is a really enjoyable production of a sharply funny and very moving play and concludes what has been a successful season of plays by women, about women and directed by women. Well done ladies!

Reviewer: Lou Kershaw

Reviewed: 4th June 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.