Director Jo Boniface talks about Amelia Bullmore’s ‘Di and Viv and Rose’, opening on Tuesday, 24 September.
What inspired you to choose this play?
I first saw Di and Viv and Rose when I started a new job at Hampstead Theatre (I’ve been happily there for 7 years now) on the Main Stage, starring Tamzin Outhwaite, Gina McKee and Anna Maxwell Martin. And I loved it. I think I saw it 6 or 7 times. It was the first time I had seen a play based entirely on female friendship, and it featured three brilliant roles for women. It’s a play that has always sat close to my heart and always been on my directorial ‘to do’ list. I also love a play that can be incredibly heartfelt and funny at the same time. So really – excellent female roles, a rare exploration of female friendship, comedy, emotion … and a lot of it is set in the ’80s so it’s got some cracking tunes! What more could you want?!
Tell us a little about the story, and the themes it features?
We start in 1984 – students at the beginning of their university life, getting to grips with new surroundings, new people and exploring who they really are for the first time. We then follow the girls through the trials and tribulations of becoming fully-fledged adults, and everything that life throws at you.
We follow them on their journey and see how their friendship impacts their lives. Each of them are vastly different in their personalities, but somehow they become a glorious threesome. There are some tough themes to explor,e but there’s a lot of love on stage and it shines through from the script.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you in directing it?
Honestly … I have to keep reminding myself that I am directing because it’s so watchable. Sometimes we are running scenes and I am just so engrossed in the story and its characters that I forget where I am.
My three actors are amazing and are working so hard. I can’t wait for them to be in front of an audience – who, I am sure will love Di and Viv and Rose as much as I do.
Tell us about the three characters
Di (played by Eleanor Hindson) – a sporty lesbian with a big heart.
Viv (Jessica Garment) – studious sociology student with big ambitions.
Rose (Lauren Paterson) – a free-spirited art student … who likes boys. A Lot.
They are an unlikely team, but somehow they gel as a group forming life-long friendships.
Di and Viv and Rose runs nightly from 24 – 28 September at the Old Fire Station, and tickets are on sale here.