A few months back, my flatmate told me about how Chandler from Friends had written a play that was coming to the West End. And that he was also going to be in it. She was very excited about it. We booked our tickets at the end of January, and last week we actually saw Matthew Perry’s debut as a playwright at the Playhouse in London with our very own eyes.
According to its website, The End of Longing‘s plot is described as:
Meet Jack, Stephanie, Joseph and Stevie: four lost souls, entering their forties and searching for meaning. After sharing one raucous night together in a downtown Los Angeles bar, their lives become irreversibly entwined in a rollercoaster journey that forces them to confront the darker sides of their relationships.
A fast paced and bittersweet comic play, The End of Longing, will make you realise that broken people don’t need to stay broken.
From the moment each character opened their mouths and introduced themselves, they never failed to entertain. Although much of the first half of the play (especially in the beginning) was a little slow, it was definitely funny. It made the audience roar with laughter, and as the second half went on, it made them (well, me at least) cry. Across the two and a quarter hours, The End of Longing was able to invest the audience in these wildly different characters, and their relationships, old and new, and create an emotional connection to them throughout the good and bad.
My only criticism was there were times that the acting felt a bit stiff and wooden, especially on Perry’s part. This definitely disappeared as the play went on, with solid writing and characters to help overcome this issue.
Overall, The End of Longing delivered on its promise of being sharp and entertaining. It wasn’t perfect, sure, but it was entertaining and hilarious – and that’s all that mattered.