The Unfriend review — Steven Moffat’s comedy hits the funny bone | Saturday Review


Perhaps, once upon a time, the middle-class, middle-aged comedy of manners was too big a force in British theatre. Now, though, with Alan Ayckbourn’s West End supremacy a distant memory and good farces as rare as good news from the Treasury, a broad yet well-aimed riff on Englishness and embarrassment like this first play from Steven Moffat hits the funny bone with a welcome twang.

Moffat, in his screen work on Doctor Who and beyond, has always known the value of a hook. Here, in a show first seen in Chichester in 2022, the set-up is simple and strong. Peter (Reece Shearsmith) and Debbie (Amanda Abbington) go on holiday. They meet a charming yet overpowering American, Elsa (Frances Barber), who insists the couple stay

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