The first major revival of Stephen Jeffreys’ Valued Friends will be staged at Kington’s Rose Theatre this autumn, it has been announced.
The comedy, directed by Michael Fentiman, stars Natalie Casey,Ralph Davis,Sam Frenchum, Michael Marcus, Catrin Stewart and Nicolas Tennant.
It’s 1980 London and change is happening. The city is ablaze with social, political and cultural upheaval and, in a basement flat in Earls Court, four friends in their mid-thirties are scrabbling to keep their heads above water.
Housemates for more than 10 years, Sherry is a hapless, quirky comedian; Paul, a keen music journalist; Marion, a straight-talking realist; and Howard, an earnest academic writing about the corruption of capitalism.
The friends are thrown unexpectedly into a battle of nerves when a young, confident property developer offers them a substantial fee to vacate their home in West London.
Spurred on by the revolutions of their time, they quickly realise that they hold all the cards in this real-life game of Monopoly and over the course of three years, they manipulate a burgeoning property market one cup of tea at a time.
Jerry Gunn, executive producer of Rose Theatre Kingston, said today: “It is a joy to welcome such a magnificent, energetic company and we look forward to working with them on bringing Stephen Jeffreys’ breakthrough play back to the stage for the first time in 30 years.
“Jeffreys’ legacy to British theatre is remarkable, and his influence has been felt by so many new writers, we can’t wait to share Valued Friends with our audiences.”
Valued Friends is a compelling comedy drama set to the soundtrack of 1980s London and against the backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain.
Stephen Jeffreys’ play was an instant classic when first performed at Hampstead Theatre in 1989. It won the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright.
Valued Friends runs at The Rose Theatre, Kingston, from September 20 – October 12.