The UK premiere of the New York musical comedy, Personals, opens next month at fringe venue the New End Theatre in Hampstead, north London. The production runs from Thursday 3 September to Sunday 11 October 1998 (with previews from 1 September).

Personals is the brainchild of Marta Kauffman and David Crane, creators of the hit American television series Friends. Although written several years before Friends was conceived - the play was originally produced in New York in 1985 - producers say that the Personals characters are recognisable as the embryos of the now household personalities of Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Joey and Chandler.

Personals is a revue about lonely hearts columns and follows the various couplings and stories which result from answering the ads. A variety of characters, most of whom have placed or responded to a personal advert, explore the perils of the personal pages in search of the elusive, meaningful relationship.

Book and lyrics are by Kauffman and Crane with Seth Friedman. Music is by William K Dreskin, Joel Friedman, Seth Friedman, Oscar-winners Alan Menken (whose credits include Little Shop of Horrors, and several Disney movies such as The Little Mermaid), Godspell composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, and Michael Skloff who wrote the chart-topping theme song for Friends, 'I'll Be There for You', recorded by The Rembrandts.

The UK production stars Summer Rognlie, who starred in the musical Maddie on the West End last year. She is joined by Ria Jones, Christina Fry, David Bardsley, Marcus Allen Cooper and Martin Callaghan.

Personals is directed by Dion McHugh. Musical direction is by Matthew Freeman, choreography and musical staging by Sam Spencer-Lane. It is produced at the New End Theatre by PIN# Productions in association with Pluto Productions.