#WestEndWishList The One Where Friendsical Comes To London
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
It's the sitcom that helped define the '90s, and even through all the outdated fashion like Rachel's plaid miniskirts, Monica's Barbadian cornrows, and Ross's leather pants, Friends still manages to resonate with modern audiences. But aside from its cultural impact, the show also remains one of the most-watched series on both television and streaming platforms. Its reruns on television alone still manage to rake in $1 billion a year in syndication revenue, with about $20 million in annual residual income each for Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer.
Now one of Friends' biggest fans, playwright Miranda Larson, has adapted the hit show for the stage. Friendsical (formerly known under the original working title Friends: The Tribute Musical) has already embarked on its nationwide tour and is set to take the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by storm.
Friends enthusiasts now can't help but wonder when they'll see "The One With The West End Premiere." In the hopes that a London production gets the green light and that we can finally cross Friends off our West End Wishlist, we have put together this handy guide on everything you need to know about Friendsical. Read our overview on Friendsical below and don't forget to check out Friendsical's first-look photos in the gallery!
What is Friendsical: The Friends Musical about?
Friendsical is the parody musical based on the cult classic TV show, Friends. It is not a sequel to the season 10 finale, but rather a reimagining of several episodes in one show, perhaps set long before Pheobe became Princess Consuela Banana Hammock. The main plot point of the stage musical takes elements from the show's pilot episode in which Ross's wife is actually a lesbian and leaves him to be with another woman. He is left high and dry, worried that he will never find someone to love him again. But then Rachel comes knocking on his door wanting back into his life. Were they on a break? And will the two lovers end up together again?
Other familiar plot points from the series will be featured in the show, including naked Thursdays, a dinosaur convention, and a power outage, which was from the groundbreaking season 1 episode 'The One With The Blackout' in which Friends followed in the footsteps of Seinfeld's 'The Chinese Restaurant' and had an episode set entirely in real-time and in the same place: Monica's apartment.
What are the Friendsical songs?
Friendsical features a magnificent medley of original songs, including 'Richard's Moustache', 'You're Over Me? When Were You Under Me?', and '(He's her) Lobster'. It remains to be seen whether audiences will get 'I'll Be There For You' by The Rembrandts or something similar.
Friendsical musical cast for the Edinburgh Fringe run and tour
Playing your six favourite friends are Charlotte Elisabeth Yorke as Rachel, Jamie Lee-Morgan as Ross, Ally Retberg as Phoebe, Sarah Goggin as Monica, Jordan Fox as Joey, and Thomas Mitchells as Chandler. They are joined by ensemble members Rebecca Withers and Duncan Burt.
Who is Miranda Larson?
Miranda Larson is an experienced director and writer for both television and theatre, she is also a #1 fan of the Friends TV show, so much so that she was motivated to pen her own original comedy based around a group of friends entitled The Box Upstairs, a play commissioned in 2004.
Larson's most recent theatre credits include adapting Tom Fletcher's Christmasaurus for the run at the Hammersmith Apollo and directing and writing The Night Pirates by Deborah Allwright and Peter Harris for the Rose Theatre Kingston run and UK tour. Other works of hers include both Trolls Live and Cartoon Network Live now on tour abroad and the comedy shows The Amazing World Of Gumball and SpongeBob Live.
Laron's TV credits include Hubble, Bubble & Squeak for Nickelodeon, Chip and Potato for Darrall Mcqueen and Netflix, and Bienvenue Bienvenida Welcome and Life Bites for Disney Channel.
Miranda Larson's latest project is adapting a stage production for Sleepy Hollow.
Who is on the Friendsical creative team?
Written and directed by Miranda Larson, Friendsical features Anthony Lamble as the designer, Dom Jeffrey as lighting designer, Barrie Bignold as musical composer, Julian Butler as sound designer, Darren Carnall as choreographer, and Michael Vinsen as associate choreographer. The musical is produced by Birdbrooke Entertainment.
Will there be a Friendsical London run?
We hope so. The new parody musical has just embarked on tour and will run in Cheltenham, Darlington, Derry, Newcastle, Kingston, Malvern, Blackpool, Worthing, Chelmsford, Southampton, and Croydon. It will also enjoy a month-long residency at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh as part of the Fringe Festival. If you happen to miss the Edinburgh Fringe Friendsical run and tour, then perhaps you may get lucky in 2020.
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Read our previous #WestEndWishList blog on Life of Pi here.
And our other #WestEndWishList blog on Cruel Intentions here.