Absent Friends was one of many plays adapted for the BBC show, Theatre Night back in 1985. As this has never been released commercially this is an exceptionally rare screening.
Absent Friends was the first Ayckbourn play to be set in ‘real’ time. A tea party has been arranged for the recently bereaved Colin by ‘friends’ and acquaintances. However, Colin’s acceptance of his situation and of his fufilling time with his fiancée only serves to highlight and widen the rifts in other relationships.
The play originally premiered in 1974 at the Library Theatre in Scarborough and went on to premiere in London and New York over the following 17 years. In 1997, Ayckbourn revived the classic play in the SJT’s current home.