Written by: Amelia Bullmore
Directed by: Stephanie McKellar-Smith
Running at Circa Theatre until 7th Nov 2020
Reviewed by: Jezelle Bidois
If you’re in need of feeling that familiar ache that proceeds a good laugh, whilst wanting to have your soul warmed by nostalgia, you need not look any further than Di and Viv and Rose at Circa Theatre. Though this piece is set in the 80s and shows three girls making the transition from teenagers to adults, the word ‘timeless’ seems best to describe Di and Viv and Rose, a production not to be missed.
What floored me the most about Di and Viv and Rose is the performances of the cast members. Julie Edwards (playing Rose) enters the stage first with an energy that radiates out to the audience, setting the upbeat tone for the rest of the show. Lara Macgregor (Di) gives a hearty performance, sending the audience into fits of laughter then instantly causing them to hold their breath in concern. And Jodie Dorday (Viv) adds more complexity to the trio with a stage presence that overshadows any male wanting to confine a woman to the “social construct that is a waist”. Through costume design (Sheila Horton), their characters’ personalities are further highlighted. As this is a show made by women for women, this trio brings to light that in spite of their characters’ differences, female camaraderie is a force not to be trifled with.
Under the direction of Stephanie McKellar-Smith and the cohesive set design (Debbie Fish) and lighting design (Jennifer Lal), a palpable atmosphere is felt by everyone. They made the flat of Di and Viv and Rose a comfortable and empowering environment that no viewer wants to leave.
From the opening night alone, I can tell the season is set to blow audiences away. This West End production has premiered on our shores exactly when it is most needed. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Di and Viv and Rose provides a resurgence of quality entertainment that has been missed since lockdown.