That was January for Stan in theatre-land
Theatre related stuff on TV and Radio Feb 13 - 20

What the critics made of Absent Friends and will it have longevity?

Absentfriends_2133736bFeels like ages ago that I saw Absent Friends (been a busy time at work) but press night has come and gone so what did the critics make of it?

What's on Stage has done the labourious bit and compiled eight reviews. Now I enjoyed it despite a hiccup with the lines giving it a solid four stars and six of the reviewers agreed. One, Michael Billington, The Guardian, commented: 

Jeremy Herrin is bang on the money with the revival of this much less familiar piece from 1974. There are times when you are caught between laughter and tears ... Any budding dramatist could learn a vast amount from the economy and skill with which Ayckbourn sets up the situation."

There weren't any five star reviews though with the remainder three stars, one of the slightly less impressed. Paul Taylor, Independent wrote:

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

On aggregate it gets a worthy 3.75/5. It's on a limited run until April 14 and I hope it does well but I do wonder how much appeal it will have when it is up against the likes of One Man Two Guv'nors and The Lady Killers for more straight forward laughs.