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Review: DI AND VIV AND ROSE at The Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna, Auckland

Review: DI AND VIV AND ROSE at The Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna, Auckland

“Friendship -- Things you feel that aren't said”

Di and Viv and Rose

Written by Amelia Bullmore (2011)

"Friendship -- Things you feel that aren't said"

Don't we all hunger for human connection? Love? Support? Laughter? Directed superbly, with exquisite attention to detail, by Stephanie McKellar- Smith, the action of this emotionally-charged play centres on the powerful bond between three women. The cast (Lisa Chappell, Eilish Moran, Jodie Dorday) is exceptional and there isn't a moment when we are not captivated. Enacted with psychological, physical and emotional truth - faces, voices and movement ensure that right from the outset, we have a clear indication of the personality, values, attitudes and ambitions of the three "girls". The 1980s was indeed a time of shift.

The well-written story, as it unfolds, is exceptionally well-paced, thoroughly engaging, full of laughter and truth. An outstanding production is always the result of a director's clarity of vision and teamwork. The collaboration, commitment and perseverance in this production is undoubted. The original set (Debbie Fish) is conceptually clever, multi-faceted and effectively employed for visual interest and ranges of interaction. The astute lighting (Sean Hawkins) provides many moments of intense focus and emotionally driven monologues and "at a distance" conversations. The soundtracks of popular music of the times punctuate and support the quickly moving action, provide a cohesive element and ensure that the energy of the production is buoyant.

Sporty Di (Eilish Moran), intellectual cause-driven Viv (Jordie Dorday) who wants a First Class Hons degree and "idiot savant, cute and posh" Rose (Lisa Chappell) meet at the university halls. The friendship slowly builds between the sporty and pragmatic gay Di and the promiscuous, bright and breezy Rose, who loves to cook and is excited about all the men. "I've found that if you ask a boy to go to bed with you, he does!" They form an unlikely bond with Viv next door "the girl who always wears war uniform" - because "I want people to like me for who I am" and who is passionate about emancipation - "the waist is a male construct".

Those of us who went to university, maybe even in the 80s when the first half is set, can remember the excitement of escaping from the bonds of home, remember those first freedoms and navigating the many unexpected responsibilities and challenges. Many of the audience were identifying themselves with those in the story and laughing - and secretly self-talking ... "which one of these am I? Am I driven by love and kindness like Rose? Am I needy - seeking approval - like Viv? Do I have an appetite for life?" Viv's justification for always wearing black "if you're serious about cut, you have to sacrifice colour" was just one of many winning one-liners - a further feature of this play's success.

The second half of the play covers what happens after university as the women forge their different ways in the world. Friendship is about building memories together, laughter, having concern for each other "mind yourself on the path." Their stories continue to interweave and conflicts are generated, developed and managed. Powerful pathos drives the end of the play - where we are reminded that "Friends should know when you need them. Friends should phone on those special days. Friends shouldn't have to spell it out. Friends should know."

Don't miss its Auckland Premiere season. Presented by highly skilled professionals, and definitely an outstanding play many will appreciate and enjoy, "DI and VIV and ROSE" (a FUSION production) runs until November 20 at The Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna.



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From This Author - Glenda Pearce

Glenda Pearce is a  professional speaker on # dynamic speaking #bodyworks #body communication # effective communication . She is also a specialist professional effective speaking coac... (read more about this author)


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What did our critic think of DI AND VIV AND ROSE at THE PUMPHOUSE Theatre, Takapuna, Auckland?Don't we all hunger for human connection? Love? Support? Laughter?  Directed superbly, with exquisite attention to detail, by Stephanie McKellar- Smith, the action of this emotionally-charged play centres on the powerful bond between three women. The cast  (Lisa Chappell, Eilish Moran, Jodie Dorday) is exceptional and there isn’t a moment when we are not captivated. Enacted with psychological, physical and emotional truth - faces, voices and movement ensure that right from the outset, we have a clear indication of the personality, values, attitudes and ambitions of the three “girls”.  The 1980s was indeed a time of shift

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