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Artsin Arts at in Harold Pinter Theatre

26 Jan - 14 Apr 2012; not Sun

Alan Ayckbourn's Absent Friends, back in the West End
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One of the glories of the West End in recent years has been the return of Alan Ayckbourn. The trend continues with a tip-top cast at the Harold Pinter Theatre in this revival of Absent Friends, directed by Jeremy Herrin.

When Diana (Katherine Parkinson), Marge (Elizabeth Berrington), Evelyn (Kara Tointon), Paul (Steffan Rhodri) and David Armand (John) rally round to give bereaved Colin (Reece Shearsmith) comfort after the death of his fiancée, all sorts of tensions about the so-called "friends" begin to show.

Ayckbourn, master of social mores for half a century, has always had the ability to pinpoint aching tragedy under a veneer of comedy. It's no surprise he's the most popular living playwright as recent West End revivals of The Norman Conquests, Season's Greetings, Bedroom Farce, Woman in Mind and Absurd Person Singular have proved.

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