Amanda Abbington   Frances Barber   Reece Shearsmith

The Unfriend

A new play by Steven Moffat

Minerva TheatreTicketsPrice: from £21
Overview. Skip back to tab navigationReviews Skip back to tab navigationCast and Creatives. Skip back to tab navigationGallery. Skip back to tab navigationAccess Performances. Skip back to tab navigationLinked Events. Skip back to tab navigationPricing: Skip back to tab navigation


Steven Moffat has skilfully crafted one of the funniest plays to be seen on stage in a very long time. In the comedic hands of director Mark Gatiss and a brilliant cast of perfectly timed and genuinely funny performers, this is pure comedy gold.


Gatiss directs with the sure, tightly timed touch of a master farceur.


Proper gut-busting stuff.

The Stage

The rollicking pace plays to the strengths of cast and text alike


What’s the worst thing you can find out about someone who’s coming to stay?

After twenty years of marriage, Peter and Debbie are enjoying a cruise as a break from their annoying teenagers. Peter can’t resist exchanging views on Donald Trump with an American fellow passenger. There’s something slightly unsettling about the eagerly friendly Elsa Jean Krakowski – but there’s no point in rocking the boat when you’re about to get off it.

Back home, an email arrives from Elsa, followed by Elsa herself. And when Debbie googles their house guest and turns up some hair-raising evidence, their good nature is challenged as never before. What kind of danger have they allowed to take up residence in their spare room? And can they bring themselves to say anything about it? Sometimes, the truth is just too impolite.

The Unfriend takes a hugely entertaining and satirical look at middle-class England’s disastrous instinct always to appear nice. Manners can be murder.

Steven Moffat is an award-winning writer, whose hit television series include Doctor Who, Sherlock and Dracula – the latter two co-written with the actor and writer Mark Gatiss, who directs.

Mark is also a member of the sketch comedy team The League of Gentlemen alongside Reece Shearsmith, who plays Peter. Last seen at Chichester in The Dresser, Reece’s recent work also includes Hangmen (Royal Court) and TV’s Inside No 9.

Amanda Abbington, whose credits include TV’s Sherlock and Mr Selfridge, and The Son in the West End, makes her Chichester debut as Debbie.

Frances Barber, last seen here in Uncle Vanya (1996) returns as Elsa; her extensive screen work includes The Mezzotint, Silk and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.

You may also be interested in...


Purchase a digital copy of the programme

Our programmes are designed to be the perfect insightful companion to the production.The programme for The Unfriend includes an article by playwright Steven Moffat on the inspiration for the play, and an interview with Steven and director Mark Gatiss about their working relationship which has encompassed the hit TV series Dracula, Sherlock and Doctor Who as well as The Unfriend; as well as rehearsal photos and biographies of the cast and company.

By clicking on BUY you will be re-directed to Issuu's website. The purchased programme will be available to read on their website and app. 

Purchasing a digital programme does not include the purchase of a printed programme.


Cast & Creatives


  • Amanda Abbington

  • Frances Barber

  • Reece Shearsmith

  • Maddie Holliday

  • Gabriel Howell

  • Marcus Onilude

    PC Junkin
  • Michael Simkins

    The Neighbour

Creative team

Cast List

Mark Gatiss


Robert Jones


Mark Henderson

Lighting Designer

Ella Wahlström

Sound Designer

Andrzej Goulding

Video Designer

Charlotte Sutton CDG

Casting Director

Charmian Hoare

Voice & Dialect Coach

Ben Davies

Associate Designer

Adrien Corcilius

Associate Video Designer

Gavin Joseph

Assistant Director

Kate West

Production Manager

Binnie Bowerman

Costume Supervisor

Lisa Buckley

Props Supervisor

Michael Dennis

Company Stage Manager

Imogen Firth

Deputy Stage Manager

David Purdie-Smith

Assistant Stage Manager



Access performances

Access performances

Events grouped by day with booking links.
DateEventTimeAvailabilityBooking Link
June 2022
Captioned at Seat Prologue member seating still available Sold Out
Captioned at Seat Prologue member seating still available Sold Out
July 2022
Audio Described Last few tickets remaining Tickets
Audio Described Prologue member seating still available Sold Out

View our full list of access performances

Linked Events


Pricing Information

Price bands for an event, organised by showing
Performance description Price Bands
Previews/Press Night£21£31
Mondays and midweek matinees£29£40
Tuesday - Saturday evening performances and Saturday matinees £29£53
  • Friends Single Production Discount: £2 off non-saver tickets
  • Groups 8+ Monday and Tuesday: £26 per ticket
  • Groups 8+ Wednesday - Friday: £5 off each ticket
  • Groups 40+ Wednesday - Friday: £8 off each ticket, plus a £5 ticket for the Group Organiser
  • School and College Groups 10+ Monday - Friday: £8.50 per ticket; one free teacher ticket with every nine paid
  • Over 60s Monday - Thursday: £2 off
  • Full-time students in Higher Education, Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support claimants Monday - Thursday: Half Price
  • Full-time students in Higher Education, Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support claimants Monday - Thursday: Standby from one hour before the performance: £8.50
  • Family tickets (excludes Saturday evenings): Half Price for up to four U16s with every full price paying adult. Discounts applied at the checkout. All tickets must be booked and paid for in a single transaction.
  • Book early for the best prices Prices are guaranteed until Monday 4 April and are then subject to change
  • All venues: Only one reduction applies per ticket, and all discounts are subject to availability and at the discretion of the Box Office.
  • All venues: Discounts do not apply to Previews and Press Nights
  • Friends: Up to four discounted tickets per production
  • Access tickets may be available for Access Members Log in to your account to see Access seats
  • £5 Prologue Tickets may be available for 16-30 year olds Log in to your account to see Prologue seats

Content and Themes

At CFT, we want everyone to feel truly welcome and comfortable. While we try not to give away plot twists and narrative surprises, we also recognise that some people may find certain themes distressing. You’ll find guidance on such content for relevant productions below; please be aware that by reading this, some elements of the plot may be revealed. Please note that these may be updated nearer the time of each production as staging details are confirmed.

If you have any questions or feedback, do email us at

Language: Some strong language
Nudity: None
Violence: None
Themes: Social interaction, social media, suspected murder

Sponsored by


Running Time
Approximately 2 hours including the interval