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.WhatsOnStage
Gatiss directs with the sure, tightly timed touch of a master farceur.Telegraph
Proper gut-busting stuff.The Stage
The rollicking pace plays to the strengths of cast and text alikeGuardian
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.
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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.
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