Di and Viv and Rose in a Hour (rating 3/5)
Manchester in the 80s, three 18-year-old undergraduates move into a house and start a friendship that will last for years, not that there is any suggestion that it will last longer than a week at first.
The three are very different, Rose is seemingly the most naïve and innocent, even though she is sleeping with almost anyone she meets. Di is a lesbian who has yet to tell her parents about her sexuality, and Viv is the studious one who dresses like she has come from the set of a World War II drama.
Over the course of an hour the play moves on from the first days at university through pregnancy, rape, jobs abroad and more, before tragedy intervenes and the question of whether the friends have outgrown the friendship is raised.
In its original form, Amelia Bullmore’s play had a running time of two and a half hours. Handmade Theatre have reduced the running time to the standard one-hour fringe slot.
This is problematic, largely because of the choices made in the editing. There is too much of the women’s student years and too little of the rest of their lives. The second half of the play rushes through the post university years, and, as a result, any deeper exploration of the friendship and how it ties them together through life is limited.
The three actors, Louisa Harland, Allegra Marland and Georgie Oulton all give strong performances, but it feels like unbalanced edited highlights, a teaser for the full-length production you want the company to undertake, rather than the enjoyable but lightweight version they’re doing here.
C Cubed, Brodie’s Close, Lawnmarket, until 14 August