Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of The Unfriend is heading to the West End.
The show is hitting the Criterion Theatre for a 12 week run from 15 January to 16 April 2023.
The Unfriend is written by acclaimed TV writer Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock), and brings together The League of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss as director and Reece Shearsmith as star. Gatiss is making is West End theatre directorial debut with the show.
Shearsmith returns to the play following the Chichester run, alongside his existing co-stars Frances Barber and Amanda Abbington.
The play got solid reviews when it opened in Chichester in June 2022, with the Guardian giving it four stars and calling it a “cringe-tastic” evening.
The Unfriend show follows middle class couple Peter (Sheasrmith) and Debbie (Abbington), who meet an overly friendly American called Elsie (Barber), on a cruise. Back home, and with barely any warning Elsie turns up – and a quick internet search means Elsie is more than she appears.
Writer Steven Moffat said in a statement: “I am beyond thrilled that The Unfriend is going to the West End. Working on this show with my old friend, Mark, and my new friends, the amazing cast and crew, has been one of the happiest experiences of my professional life. They’ve all been very kind to a beginner.”
Director Mark Gatiss said: “I’m absolutely chuffed to be bringing The Unfriend to the Criterion after a joyous time in Chichester. What we all need now is a really good laugh and Steven’s gloriously naughty play brings that in spades.”