Presented by Next Stage Theatre Company
Tuesday 5th September - Saturday 9th September at 7:30pm plus 2:00pm Matinee on Saturday 9th
“Absent Friends is a play for a small intimate theatre where one can hear the actors breathing and the silences ticking away.” Alan Ayckbourn Scarborough 1976
As Absent Friends opens, a dysfunctional group have been brought together for a tea party: Paul, a successful business man used to getting his own way; Diana his ever-vigilant and suspicious wife; John, father to baby Wayne, aware that Paul’s eyes, and more, have strayed towards his monosyllabic wife, Evelyn; and finally, friend Marge, blissfully unaware of the tensions around her.
The tea party has been organised by Di in an attempt to cheer up long-time friend Colin whose fiancée has just drowned. But Colin doesn’t need cheering up, he is happy, optimistic and delighted to see his old friends, whilst they all quickly realise that it is they who are drowning - in frustrated lives, vanished dreams, provincial secrets and middle-aged angst.
Absent Friends is Ayckbourn at his very best: the hilarious moments on stage are juxtaposed with insightful and heart-wrenching home truths, with the minutiae of suburbia providing the realistic background. A stellar cast, under the direction of Ann Ellison, brings the play to sparkling life, reminding us all of just why Ayckbourn is one of Britain’s greatest living playwrights.