Lighthouse, Poole – until 29 February 2020
Reviewed by Alexandra Browning
Following the successes of a critically acclaimed American sitcom Friendsical brings a new lease of life with a parodic twist. The musical follows the original characters in a cleverly reworked story, of which we have all grown to know and love, with a perfectly musical twist.
Friendsical cleverly brings a fast pace twist to a storyline that many will already recognise, using interchangeable set pieces to recreate the iconic back drops in the cult classic. You get to know the cast of Friendsical in the much loved coffee shop, Central Perk, then are magically transported into Monica’s iconic flat, not to forget that there is the iconic picture frame on the door. This clever use of set and stage work is an unforgettable element to the show and really takes you yo all the truly iconic set locations from the tv show.
Cast and crew of the musical are immediately recognise-able, with Chandler Bing, Thomas Mitchells, being the spitting image of his on screen counterpart. The energy that Mitchells brought to the stage was quintessentially Bing and really brought home comforts from the original sitcom. Another stand-out member of the cast was Ally Retberg who brought both Phoebe and Janice to life with such a chaotic energy. Retberg felt like the perfect actor for the job at hand as she captures the quirkiness and embodies phoebe wonderfully – not to mention is the perfect Doppelgänger of Janice, whom absolutely nails the laugh.
Musical hit “Geology Rocks” was a personal favourite as this hit had the perfect balance of quirky comedy and on stage drama. The hit sees Ross Geller, Ewan Gillies, demonstrate his fantastic vocal skills with the very theatrical addition of two dinosaurs, the two dinosaurs brought a very comical twist and were just the light hearted joke the scene needed, prompting the audience (as the show is filmed in front of a live audience) to join in and give a very big laugh.
Overall Friendsical gave the perfect will-they-won’t-they reworking the original show, with comedy content and some of the musical hits from Phoebe, being just as good as the original show. Although she does have some strong competition from the rest of the cast in this adaption. Friendsical makes it very clear that they were never ‘ON A BREAK’!!