4-26 August, 17:35
This is the UK premiere of the new musical by Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham, the American writing duo who met at New York University's graduate course in musical theatre writing and went on to have a 2006 Off-Broadway hit with I Love You Because (seen at London’s Landor Theatre in 2007, starring Daniel Boys).
It’s Friends for the next generation, capturing that time in your life when “one day you wake up, and instead of a hangover, you have a job. Instead of a fling, you have a live-in girlfriend.” We’ve all been here before, both on and off-stage, but for all of the book’s over-familiarity, it’s well constructed and nicely told, and the songs serve the plot and characters well.
Amongst the memorable lyrics, there are comparisons with Nora Ephron’s movies, tactics for quitting smoking, hangover symptoms and an admirable reluctance to “share an empty cliche or an overused platitude”. The title song is also insanely hummable, and the four-strong cast – three of them also performing in Sell a Door’s other festival offering, The House of Mirrors and Hearts – belt it out with feeling.