Three women who shared a flat as university freshers in 1983 and have maintained their friendship through the years are the subject matter of a play opening shortly at the Melbourne Theatre Company (Sumner, Southbank from 12 August). The play – Di and Viv and Rose – has been a success in London, first at Hampstead in 2015, then in the West End. The author is Amelia Bullmore, an actress and writer, whose performances will be known to television viewers of the police series Scott and Bailey; she played the detective superintendent with a drinking problem. The play examines the nature of personal alliances and their importance over time through changing circumstances. In the Telegraph, Charles Spencer described it as having a ‘mixture of warmth, humour and sadness that is very special indeed’. The play’s title is both obvious and difficult; the difficulty being in remembering which names and in what order, but it does tell us what to expect.
In Melbourne, Di and Viv and Rose will be directed by Marion Potts who has brought together an excellent trio of actors: Nadine Garner (the almost love interest housekeeper in the Doctor Blake Mysteries on ABC Television), Belinda McClory and Mandy McElhinney. This play is clearly not chick-lit put on stage; the male reviewers in London were certainly drawn in by the writing. Charles Spencer again: ‘It cuts deeply and asks hard questions’. The Guardian said it is ‘never sentimental’. With any luck, it will be seen in other cities.
Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator Australia for less – just $1 for 6 weeks