Absent Friends at the Harold Pinter Theatre – Round-up of Reviews

A round-up of reviews of  Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy of manners Absent Friends makes a welcome return to the West End starring The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson, Kara Tointon and Reece Shearsmith.

Book tickets to Absent Friends at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London

Katherine Parkinson in Absent Friends
Katherine Parkinson in Absent Friends


Average rating score for this production


"Any budding dramatist could learn a vast amount from the economy and skill with which Ayckbourn sets up the situation. But his craftsmanship and the laughter it generates almost camouflage the acute social observation."

"Reece Shearsmith hilariously captures the insufferably smug good cheer of Colin, using his bereavement as an excuse to offer crass advice to friends who never really cared for him, and there are many moments in Absent Friends when it becomes physically impossible to stop laughing."

"Diana is the most tragic character, and Katherine Parkinson's performance is soulful. Her sad personal history could have been depicted by Chekhov; although her role is the most physically demonstrative (thanks in part to some business with a cream jug), it's also the one with the densest subtext."

"Full of amusing gaffes that demonstrate our nervousness aboutdeath, the play is weakened by a back story that does not, to my mind, add up and by the steroetypical nature of the characters. "

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