Full disclosure – I absolutely loved ‘Friends’. Still do in fact – I have all 10 series on DVD and am currently working through them again as my other half never saw them the first time round (I KNOW, where WAS he in the 90s?!) and they’re still just as funny. They’re part of my psyche – friends and I will still say to each other ‘I’m FINE!!! I’m going to make MARGARITAS!’ or ‘Stop cleansing my aura’ or…
Ahem. I digress. So seeing a play that was billed as ‘Friends for grown ups’ was obviously a must-do. My friend S and his partner were visiting London and wanted to go to the theatre and luckily when I told them about this they were very up for it (I’d probably have made them go anyway actually).
Matthew Perry stars as himself. Well – I suppose I’m not meant to say that but he basically plays a character struggling with alcohol addiction -which if you know anything about Matthew Perry is likely to be at least semiautobiographical. And he certainly brings a real edge to the character (I deal with alcoholics quite a lot in my real job and certain aspects of Perry’s character rang very true). Certain others did not- his openness about and acceptance of his drinking was surprising but did help move the plot along. His love interest, the prostitute was excellent as a strong, feisty female who finds herself surprised by the depth of her feelings. The other couple were by contrast extremely dull and clearly only there to provide the ‘link’ between Perry and his love interest. Every time the action was on them I found myself waiting for the scene to change.
Perry plays for big laughs, often leaving a line hanging until he gets the response he wants, but with a fanbase like his that’s not surprising. And mostly it delivered. It’s just a shame because it COULD have been so much more.
Overall: worth a shot if you’re a ‘Friends’ fan, but don’t expect Friends-level humour.