Thursday, 23 March 2017

“Di and Viv and Rose” by Amelia Bullmore
Nottingham New Theatre
The New Theatre students this season are currently producing some very strong female led plays and this is no different. It’s a warm, emotional and funny play about female friendship and the impact that has on life and the impact life has on their friendship.
The play is an ideal choice as Di, Viv and Rose are all 18 year old students when the play starts. They get to know each other when they decide to share a house off campus.
Their characters are very different. Rose is a free spirited art history student who sleeps with any boy she likes the look of. She is generous, funny and quite innocent of her promiscuity, reminiscent of Sally Bowles in the musical “Cabaret”
Di is a sports mad lesbian who is taking business studies.
Viv is a sociology student with a strong work ethic. She writes serious essays about the way women are confined by the corset.
Set in the 1980’s and travelling through the years, mapping the events and happenings within their little circle and the way their friendship endures the obstacles that arise throughout this period of time. It’s a play about women but don’t think that this play is just for women, because it’s not.
This play will take you through many emotions and, not knowing the play before tonight, I was not prepared for one particular event, which really knocked me back because I really did not expect it, and it came as quite a shock because you feel for all three characters.
Rachel Connolly (Di), Laura Jane Bateman (Viv) and Sophie Walton (Rose) all put in incredible performances. I wouldn't be able to choose one over the other two as being the better character or actor.
The story is incredibly heart-warming and honest but also quite tragic. There is a lot of laughter in this play as well.
All of these emotions unfurl over the decades to a wonderful soundtrack which includes songs from Cyndi Lauper, Prince and Robbie Williams.
Directed by Ed Eggleton. this man will go far in the theatre because he knows what it takes to get a brilliant performance from an actor, if this play is anything to go by. Ed was ably assisted by Producer Emma McDonald.
The technical crew behind this play were also excellent with a wonderful lighting design by Joanne Blunt. A clever use of lights to show the years past by in numerical form.
The Sound Designer, Emily Dimino, did a great job with the various sound effects as well as the music.
I've now come to expect a high quality of theatre from the Nottingham New Theatre, but every time I see something new here, the bar is raised another notch. Such is the quality of everyone who gets involved in this group.
This is definitely one play I would advise anyone who loves brilliant theatre to see, but be prepared for some unexpected turns near the end.
“Di and Viv and Rose” is at the Nottingham New Theatre on the University campus until Saturday 25 March 2017.

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