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A ‘girls’ night out’ at the Theatre Royal, Workington

L-R: Ruth Hellen (Di), Anne Bowmer (Viv) and Becky Wilson (Rose).

Following their very popular production of The Vicar of Dibley in December 2019, the Workington Playgoers are continuing in a bittersweet comic vein with Di and Viv and Rose by Amelia Bullmore. This funny, touching play about three very different women will be on at the Theatre Royal from Tuesday 17th to Saturday 21st March 2020.

From its opening scene, at a northern university’s hall of residence in the early 1980s, to its close in 2010, a simple, strong thread runs through this drama. It is the thread of friendship that has brought together a seemingly mismatched trio of female students – bookish and serious Viv (played by Anne Bowmer), sporty Di (played by Ruth Hellen) and flirtatious but vulnerable Rose (Becky Wilson).

The skill of Bullmore’s script is the way it picks away at what friends are, why friendship lasts or falls apart, and how vital it is to life. And there is so much that audiences will recognise – the nostalgic 1980s soundtrack, the sharply drawn characters, the baggage we all gather as time passes, the way tragedy can suddenly derail us…

Director Steph Daly-Parks says: ‘I first read this play by Amelia Bullmore in 2017, at Jenni Rushton’s suggestion, for a rehearsed reading. It is one of the most engaging contemporary pieces of drama that l have had the good fortune to read and has been widely performed in London, Edinburgh and further afield. We are enjoying the rehearsals and learning hugely from the experience as a group.’

According to The Times, this is ‘an unpretentious but stealthily potent play that leaves you smiling, teary and gloriously uplifted’. The Playgoers would love you to come along and judge for yourselves – and men are invited too!

The show runs from Tuesday 17th to Saturday 21st March, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced at £12 (£11 concessions), are available online at http://www.theatre-royal-workington.co.uk/di-and-viv-rose/ or on the door.

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