FRINGE REVIEW: “Friendsical”

Friendsical – Venue 20 – Assembly Rooms – Music Hall – 7.55pm

THERE is likely no television show as universally known as Friends, so it was very ambitious for the actors of Friendsical to step into these beloved roles.

The cast were introduced onto a replica Central Perk set as they twirled umbrellas in a choregraphed dance – to an original song, not The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There for You”. Classic 90s references were scattered throughout with a little editing to make it more appropriate for today’s audience.

Ross and Rachel’s love story is central to the story. Nelson Bettencourt as Ross Gellar is the main narrator, breaking the fourth wall to share his side of the story, crack jokes, explain plot holes, and time jumps, and lament about his and other’s choices.

Each of the actors did exceptionally well in their roles, portraying the characters accurately and with a sense irony, but Tim Edwards’ Chandler Bing was phenomenal. He used all of the emotionally-stunted character’s mannerisms and catchphrases so well that at times I thought he could actually be Mathew Perry in disguise as an actor playing Chandler Bing.

Despite the couple being loved internationally, I was one of the few who wanted Rachel to stay on the plane and go to Paris.While Nelson Bettencourt and Amelia Kinu Muus did justice to their roles, the show was often stolen by the side characters appearances. Like the original character, Tanveer Singh Devgun’s Gunther was a highlight – not only for his bright hair – and his solo song was one of my favourites of the night.

We also saw brilliant cameos from Janice, Richard, Julie, the hated Emily, the sultry Xerox girl, and more to the three-quarters full audience’s delight.

Despite all its charm, and the talent of all the actors and creatives, Friendsical could have benefitted from a tighter plot, or perhaps a different perspective. Aside from the new songs, we are not introduced to anything new, and with the speed ten seasons at which plot arcs are shown, we aren’t given time to emotionally connect with the characters or storylines.

Friendsical is a show purely designed to inspire nostalgia and packed full of as many references as they could fit into the hour’s performance – perfect for those disappointed by the Friends reunion episode and want a dose of their favourite characters.

Worth a see for any Friends fanatic keen on a good laugh.


Get the full details about the show here.

Plus, read more reviews on Scottish Field’s Fringe pages.