Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy, Absent Friends, is coming to Ilford

Absent Friends

Absent Friends - Credit: Archant

Not everything is as it seems when six old friends meet up in one of Alan Ayckbourn’s classic and best loved plays, but comedy ensues as secrets are revealed.

Redbridge Stage Company will present their latest production, Absent Friends, at the Kenneth More Theatre, following the story of Colin, who has recently lost his fiancée.

His married friends invite him round to cheer him up over tea and sandwiches.

But as the tea is poured, it becomes clear that trouble is brewing with a wickedly funny blend of jealousy, infidelity and barely concealed loathing.

Director, Brenda Brackley, who was first involved in a production at the theatre in 1975, said: “I really like Alan Ayckbourn’s plays, they are very cleverly constructed and delve into the human condition.

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“What attracted me to this play in particular, which is one of his earliest works, was that I find it very amusing and the audience can often recognise the characters in themselves.”

The play, which was first produced in 1974, is set in real time and has been attracting audiences in the West End for many years.

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Ms Brackley said: “The most difficult part of directing this play in particular was the fact it relies heavily on the dialogue. It is challenging for the actors as they must draw out the meaning through facial expressions which can be noticed by the audience.

“What I enjoy most about the show is how the characters bounce off each other and develop with the story.”

Absent Friends will be on at the Kenneth More Theatre, Oakfield Road, Ilford from Thursday until March 2. To book please call 020 8553 4466. Tickets are £10.

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