I loved Friends the first time I watched it back in 1996, when I was 10 and missed most of the jokes, and I still love it now that I am 35 and know all the jokes by heart. It’s a little sad, to be fair.
Last night I attended Friendsical, a parody musical about Friends, at The New Theatre, and it was pure, genuine, unashamed chaos but absolutely brilliant. If not familiar, Friends is an American television sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. Aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004, the show boasted over 52 million people tuning in to watch the final episode.
Centred around the Ross and Rachel storyline, Friendsical, spans through 10 seasons of plots and sub-plots in the most varied, interesting and colourful mayhem. Songs are catchy and the overall performance works extremely well despite, or perhaps because of, the jumping between timelines. Special praise goes to Chandler and Monica, aka Tim Edwards and Sarah Michelle Kelly, who are extremely believable, with performances nailed down to facial expressions and impeccable timing. It has also been lovely to see former The Pussycat Dolls Alumna Kimberly Wyatt featuring as a guest star, a nice, funny breather between scenes and “outtakes”.
Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t like Friends, have never heard of Friends or don’t even know or care what it is, Friendsical might not exactly be for you. This is a fairly borderline niche show for a close, yet strong community of fans. Those of us who watch way too much TV, will recognise every joke, reference and nuance. Those of you who don’t, might be less inclined to give it a go, but I genuinely hope you do: Friendsical is surreal, smarter than it looks, and so much fun that you will want to sit through all the 10 seasons next.
Click here to book tickets.