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16th September 2019 - 21st September 2019
Friendsical is an original and unique new parody musical inspired by the gang in Friends, the iconic TV show.
When Ross’s wife leaves him for another woman, he fears he will never find love again. But then Rachel runs back into his life… will he end up with his one true love?
With original new songs such as ‘(He’s her) Lobster!’, ‘Richard’s Moustache’ and ‘You’re Over Me, When Were You Under Me?’, the gang take on naked Thursdays, a power cut, and a dinosaur convention! What could possibly go wrong?
This is a loving parody not to be confused with the Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. series Friends
Running time: approx. 2 hours 15 minutes, including interval.
Production photographs by Dale Wightman
Choice Radio Worcester
There are basically two types of people.
Those for whom Friday nights at 9pm on Channel 4 back in 1994 was must-see TV, following the antics of 6 New Yorkers based around their favourite café Central Perk and their apartments.
And then there's everyone else to whom the names Joey, Monica, Ross, Chandler, Phoebe and Rachel mean little, if anything at all, especially 25 years later.
Billed as a parody musical, Friendsical is very firmly aimed at the former, taking as its basis one element of the show - the on-off relationship between Rachel and Ross and immediately including the elements of the show's title sequence - colourful umbrellas and the sofa, the song being "Friends Like Us" - one of the potential titles of the show rather than The Rembrandts' "I'll be there for you".
Thoroughly and deliberately mixing up the timelines of the plots of the series which ran for 10 years and 236 episodes, this is actually Ross's take on the whole shebang, a creation of his with the occasional aside to the audience and to the rest of the cast. In this concocted scenario, writer Miranda Larson has a wealth of situations and mannerisms to choose from, which make the characters easily identifiable to the fans of the show. But this does mean cramming in a large amount - often just single-liners referencing something which happened in the show - into two hours and there is a lot of raised and high-pitched voices, accurate to the original but a little overwhelming when condensed into a short period.
That is not to underestimate the skills of the actors in portraying these young Americans (and others, such as Gunther, Emily, Richard and the always dependably dreadful Janice...) and it has to be said that one actor in particular nails his part perfectly. Thomas Mitchells's portrayal of Chandler is spot on in every respect and it could just as easily have been Matthew Perry on stage…
In spite of the popularity of the TV series (53 million Americans watched the final episode and it's still being shown on British TV), this is nonetheless a rather niche play and, as a parody, you really do need to know the original otherwise much of it will not make much sense and will go over your head in a continuous stream of bewildering, sometimes unexplained, references. What is it with Rachel's hair? Why does Joey wear six sets of clothing on top of each other? And Phoebe selling out to a record company?
It's a pity Marcel didn't make an appearance though (if you don't get that reference, maybe the show's not for you!).
The fact that you really do need this prior knowledge probably explains why at least two other reviewers at the show walked out at the end of the first act and did not return.
It seems you either get it or you don't, so be warned!
Lucky enough to see this last week in Edinburgh and loved it and laughed all the way through
Terrible. This was our wedding anniversary treat so doubly disappointing. The characterisation ( mannerisms, accent) by some of the cast - Ross & Chandler in particular - are good but this is the play's only positive. The dominant feature is the shrieking performance by the female cast, and especially Monica. Almost every bit of dialogue is shouted - and so is some of the singing - making it hard to understand at least half of what's being said. It was actually painful to hear and genuinly left me with a headache at the end of the performance. We tried moving to the back of the auditorium which only helped slightly. The Malvern Gazette called it 'shrill'. I agree that we were crying out for some relief from the shrieking. We happened to speak to one cast member in the foyer afterwards who said other audiences had made the same comment which begs the question, why haven't they toned it down - after all that's what the microphones are for. You don't need to shout to be heard in the theatre or to show emotion. They didn't in the TV show. Unfortunately the script itself had very few laughs and the songs were largely forgettable with some so fast and complictated we couldn't follow the lyrics. On the Wednesday matinee in Malvern there were 24 in the audience. We're sorry we were among them but congratulations to the cast on giving it their all despite the empty seats. There's a line towards the end of the play where Chandler says "This is the worst show ever". Well, in my experience, almost.
Very disappointing sound system not good and very difficult to understand when singing. Very amateur production and highly overcharged .the worst production I have ever seen at Malvern.
If you are a Friends Fan you will love this. I am a Friends Fan and I loved it. Imagine 60 second Shakespeare, well this was of the same ilk. All the key elements were in the plot. A nod to Smelly Cat, Pivot, ‘We were on a Break’ and so much more. I laughed so hard. The cast really picked up the mannerisms of the lead characters and deployed them with great effect. If you like Friends... watch this.
Absolutely loved this show! I initially saw Friendsical at Edinburgh Fringe and was desperate to see the full show as it was a shortened version at the Fringe and was lucky to go to Kingston upon Thames and was so pleased I did!! I laughed so much. It’s such a feel good fun clever show. Great casting I thought all the actors
Booked to see the afternoon matinee on Saturday 21st September as part of our wedding anniversary as my wife is a big fan of friends.
Was somewhat apprehensive, but shouldn’t have been the whole show was brilliant.
The actors playing Chandler and Ross were absolutely brilliant and the rest of the cast were excellent.
We even thought the actor playing Gunther was spot and so funny.
If you are a fan of friends this is a must see parody that is really funny and so much fun to watch.
Two words; truly awful. The worst performance I’ve ever seen at Malvern; escaped at half time. Amateur and completely dull.
Horrendous. First show we have ever walked out of at the interval. Couldn't understand what any of them were saying, really bad singing, complete waste of money.