Absent Friends

Devonshire Park Theatre
Absent Friends By Alan Ayckbourn

Cast includes: Rob Maloney as Paul, Lucy Trodd is Diana, Paul Westwood takes the role of John, Lucy-Jane Quinlan is Evelyn,  Ben Roddy plays Colin and Katy Dean is Marge.

When Colin, a friend who has been absent, comes back to his circle of friends, they are worried about how to approach him over the death of his fiancée, Carol, who has drowned. Diana organizes a tea party for Colin's arrival. Interrelationship tensions soon become apparent and are near erupting when Colin arrives, heightening the tension when they all work to appear friendly towards him. 

The party progresses while the middle-aged friends reveal the misery and failure of their own relationships. As it turns out, the mourning guest Colin  becomes the one responsible for comforting everyone else.

The play, set firmly in the 1970s, beautifully depicts nostalgia, lovelessness and social awkwardness and weaves them all together with some of Ayckbourn’s sharpest dialogue to hilarious effect. 

Ayckbourn at his absolute best. 

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