The Way Old Friends Do
In 1988, two Birmingham school friends tentatively come out to one another: Edward as gay; Peter, even more daringly, as an ABBA fan.
Nearly thirty years later, they meet again – and take a chance by forming the world's first ABBA tribute band in drag. It's a riot of platform boots and dodgy beards, 'Waterloos' and 'Chiquititas', and they couldn't escape if they wanted to. But can Edward and Peter's friendship survive the tribulations of a life on the road?
Ian Hallard's The Way Old Friends Do is a tender, laugh-out-loud comedy about devotion, desire and dancing queens. It premiered at Birmingham Rep in 2023, directed by Mark Gatiss, before touring the UK, including a run at Park Theatre, London.
'Camp, funny and jolly good fun'Sunday Times
'A super-trouper of a show that reminds us all of the part music can play in our lives and our friendships... Hallard's script is keen-edged and perceptive, rapidly creating characters and imbuing them with life views that make the audience both laugh and feel a tinge of sadness'WhatsOnStage
'Hilariously funny... a positive joy to watch from start to finish... bang on the Money, Money, Money'Reviews Hub
'Side-splittingly funny... the easy comedy of the first act gives way to a dramatic series of genuinely surprising twists in the second ahead of a touchingly sentimental conclusion... a genuine love letter to ABBA with plenty for the die-hard enthusiasts to enjoy, but when all is said and done it is ultimately a story about enduring friendship'Broadway World
'A gorgeously realised super trouper of a play that's well worth taking a chance on'West End Best Friend
'A fun, frothy comedy with heart-stopping moments... incorrigibly entertaining... [Hallard is] a comic writer who brings big dollops of warmth to his work, and abounding joyfulness too. A must-see for Abba fans; fun and laughs for the rest of us'Guardian
'Hilarious... you don't have to be an ABBA aficionado to enjoy it'British Theatre Guide
'A sweet, juicy, peach of a show that is physically impossible not to savour... a veritable goldmine of deliciously funny one-liners. But it also a touching, tender, and brilliantly executed meditation on the nature of enduring friendship, and of the challenges involved in coming out late in life... this show really is an awful lot of fun'Reviews Hub
'Full of heart, and enough witty one-liners to lift the spirits, whether or not you're an ABBA fan'The Stage
'Extremely endearing... a refreshing twist on the conventional rom-com... Hallard's real-life love of ABBA shines through in his script'Time Out
'Abbasolutely a delight! Warm but a bit rude, affirmative but absurd, with sudden big laughs and many, many treasurable lines'TheatreCat