Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious Absent Friends is the tale of a comforting tea gone horribly wrong. When Colin loses his fiancée, his married friends rally round to lend their support. But as the tea starts to pour, it becomes clear that trouble is brewing, as jealousy, infidelity, tension and barely concealed loathing bubble beneath the surface. Maybe Colin is not the one who needs help.

The cast of Absent Friends is led by performers best known for their work in TV comedies, The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson, The League Of Gentlemen’s Reece Shearsmith, Gavin And Stacey’s Steffan Rhodri and regular sketch performer David Armand.

They are joined in Absent Friends by former Eastenders star and winner of Strictly Come Dancing Kara Tointon, who made her West End debut in the 2011 production of Pygmalion, and Elizabeth Berrington, who returns to the London stage for the first time since taking the lead role in the Hampstead theatre’s 2002 revival of Abigail’s Party.

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