On Stage: MTC’s Di and Viv and Rose

The Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Di and Viv and Rose shows why its three stars are considered amongst Australia’s best actors.

Mandy McElhinne (Rose) , Di Nadine Garner(Di) and Belinda McClory (Viv)*

Mandy McElhinne (Rose) , Nadine Garner(Di) and Belinda McClory (Viv) in Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Di and Viv and Rose *

Mandy McElhinney, Nadine Garner and Belinda McClory all give brilliant performances in this drama/comedy about female friendship.

Written by UK author and actor Amelia Bullmore, Di and Viv and Rose follows the fortunes of three women – Di(Garner), Viv (McClory) and Rose (McElhinney) who meet during their first year at an English University. The three come from different parts of England and have very different backgrounds and personalities. Di is sporty, down to earth and a lesbian who is too scared to tell her parents of her sexual preference, Viv is guarded, aloof and intellectual while Rose is a funny, warm, sex-loving extrovert.

The three characters in Di and Viv and Rose forged lifelong bonds while sharing a house at University.

The three characters  forge lifelong bonds while sharing a house at University.*

Despite their differences, the three agree to share a house. While there are many good times there are also disagreements and a shocking event. As a result of their experiences living together lifetime bonds are forged.

The play’s first act is devoted to the girls’ years in the house, the second act to their lives post Uni.

While there are plenty of laughs in the first act, typical of three young women enjoying the freedoms of being students, the second act is more serious as the realities of life and being responsible adults kick in.

Rose, Di and Viv catch up after leaving University.

Rose, Di and Viv catch up after leaving University.*

McElhinney, Garner and McClory are equally as convincing as young students as they are of more mature women. Their comic timing is top notch as is the chemistry between the three. They also expertly portray the emotional turmoil suffered at different times by their characters.

While the story-line would suggest Di and Viv and Rose is more likely to appeal to female audience members, my male companion enjoyed the play as much as I did.

 Di and Viv and Rose is playing at Southbank Theatre, The Sumner until September 16.  For more information and tickets visit the MTC website.

*Photo Credit: Jeff Busby.

Jenny Burns attended the opening night of Di and Viv and Rose as a guest of the Melbourne Theatre Company.

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