Friendsical at NST Campus, Southampton REVIEW: 'The bigger the fan, the more you’ll enjoy it'
As a massive Friends fan, I was nervous about seeing Friendsical.
I’ve seen each of the 236 episodes more times than Joey’s had a meatball sub – their work was certainly cut out for me!
The premise is simple, if not a little strange. Ross wants to tell his love story with Rachel through the medium of a musical. In doing so, they cram 10 seasons worth of Friends material into one two-hour show. The result is a non-stop, rather exhausting, comedy about everyone’s favourite Friends.
While marked as a parody, it’s largely a retelling but it does poke fun at certain plot holes in the hit series, such as Monica’s apartment changing numbers and the awful storyline featuring Joey and Rachel.
The standard of impersonations varies. Jamie Lee-Morgan and Thomas Mitchells have the mannerisms of Ross and Chandler, respectively, to perfection (gum, anyone?). Sarah Goggin (Monica) and Jordan Fox (Joey) are vocally very impressive, but don’t quite hit the mark. Ally Retberg is reasonably convincing as Phoebe, but she’s at her best as Janice. Understudy Rebecca Withers also did a decent job of Rachel. However special mention must be given to Duncan Bert who was an excellent Gunther.
The set is very recognisable; flitting between Central Perk, Monica’s and the guys’ apartment.
Song highlights include Like A Foghorn, Over Me? When Were You Under Me? And Richard Hunky Moustache Man. The lyrics were strung together very cleverly, again, encapsulating so much Friends content, it’s hard to keep up.
I found the breaking of the fourth wall irritating and the second half numbers were notably weaker than the first.
Will I remember the songs? No. Will I ever see it again? Probably not.
But this Friends fan had a lot of fun. The bigger the fan, the more you’ll enjoy it.