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The Unfriend to transfer to the West End

Steven Moffat's play opens in January

Amanda Abbington and Reece Shearsmith
© Manuel Harlan

Steven Moffat's hit comedy The Unfriend will run in the West End in 2023.

The hit comedy, which opened at Chichester's Minerva Theatre earlier this year (earning a full five-star review from WhatsOnStage in the process), will play at the Criterion Theatre (where 2:22 A Ghost Story is currently running).

The show follows a married couple who unwittingly befriend a slightly eccentric Denver resident while on holiday. It begins previews on 15 January with a press night on 19 January 2023, with running dates until 16 April.

The production is directed by Mark Gatiss (A Christmas Carol), with the show reuniting a cast of Reece Shearsmith (Inside No 9, A Very Expensive Poison), Amanda Abbington (Sherlock, The Son) and Frances Barber (Silk). Also returning are Michael Simkins, Marcus Onilude, Gabriel Howell and Maddie Holliday.

The Unfriend features designs by Robert Jones, with lighting by Mark Henderson, sound by Ella Wahlström, video design by Andrzej Goulding and casting by Charlotte Sutton.

Speaking exclusively to WhatsOnStage earlier this month, Moffat (revealing he wrote what is his debut play in a burst of creative vigour over 17 days or so while on the set of Dracula in early 2019) said: "I'm brand new to all of this and i'm excited about it – in a way you'd expect a 25 year-old to be excited about it.

"It's a tremendous relief to have such a great team alongside me - though it's also Mark's first time directing! Of course, we know what jokes are, we know what characters and dialogue are, and these things don't change."

"Compared to TV, where you all shoot together and then reunite a year later for the premiere, on stage everything feels so current – the performance happens that night, and whatever takes place will only happen one time."

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