Absent Friends (UK Tour)
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 14th 2015
At a glance Absent Friends is a fun play about a group of friends coming together at a tea party to support Colin following the death of his fiancée; however, below the surface Alan Ayckbourn's piece delves into broken relationships, jealousy and how we cope when pushed to breaking point.
Michael Cabot's new touring production is pitched perfectly, smoothly flowing along whilst building up for hilarious tension releases. Catherine Harvey stands out as tea party host Diana who fears her husband is having an affair. Harvey steals scenes as Diana becomes overwhelmed and has a spectacular nervous breakdown.
Elsewhere Ashley Cook delights as Colin. Although the tea party has been organised to welcome Colin back into his friendship circle following his fiancée's tragic death, he is the most mentally stable character in the play - the only one who isn't about to snap.
It's rare to see something with a steadier pace which still manages to maintain focus; Ayckbourn's writing is exceptionally clever and this production certainly does it justice.
Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)
Absent Friends tours the UK until 18th July 2015. Please visit www.londonclassictheatre.co.uk for further information, full tour dates and tickets.
Upcoming shows at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre include East is East, Derren Brown: Miracle, The Last Tango and Jersey Boys. Visit www.atgtickets.com for full information and tickets.