Matthew Perry famous for Friends on stage in a play he has written

Matthew Perry famous for Friends on stage in a play he has written

Robert Tanitch logoRobert Tanitch reviews The End of Longing at Playhouse, London WC2

Matthew Perry, best known for his performance in the extremely popular NBC TV series, Friends, has written his first play and it feels like a pilot for a TV series.

Director Lindsay Posner and his designer, Anna Fleischie, attempt to make The End of Loving stage-worthy but everything, including the expert acting, smacks of television.

L-R Christina Cole (Stevie)  Lloyd Owen (Joseph)  Matthew Perry (Jack) & Jennifer Mudge (St_Perry plays a professional alcoholic who falls in love with an expensive prostitute (Jennifer Mudge); and when I say expensive I mean really expensive. They both promise not to persuade the other to give up their drinking and whoring.

His best mate (Lloyd Owen), who is not so bright but is a much nicer person, gets her best friend (Christina Cole), a neurotic, pregnant and there are complications.

Perry had a drink problem in real life and he has admitted that the character he plays is a slightly exaggerated form of himself. He even has a confessional monologue which gets a round of applause.

The performance is highly accomplished. He has loads of charm and knows how to deliver the one-liners. There is a lot of swearing. His fans will no doubt be delighted. Regular theatregoers will probably want something more, something less superficial.