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Friends! The Musical Parody will be there for you in Aberdeen and Inverness

friends parody musical aberdeen
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Friends! The Musical Parody will be there for you when it arrives at The Tivoli and Eden Court, says Jonathan Walker Gilland, who plays Gunther in the popular show.

Most people will be familiar with the global phenomenon that is Friends – an American TV show which ran for 10 seasons and followed six young adults trying to figure out life in Manhattan.

While the final episode aired in 2004, fans all over the world watch the show on repeat and many of them make up the audience of Friends! The Musical Parody which is currently touring the UK for the first time.

Jonathan said: “The musical is really well written and includes all the big moments – anybody who has seen Friends before will understand the references – even if you had it on in the background.

“We have Rachel in her wedding dress and other big moments that most people will know but we’re also cramming in 10 seasons of minor moments that I think die-hard fans will really enjoy.”

Friends! The Musical Parody is on its way to Aberdeen and Inverness.

Playing the ‘famous seventh friend’

Jonathan was thrilled to be cast as Gunther who he considers the “famous seventh friend”.

He said: “The actor James Michael Tyler – who unfortunately passed away last year – and I have very similar backgrounds. He grew up in Mississippi – not too far away from where I grew up in Tennesee.

“One of the reasons that he got cast was that he was a barista and could actually use the coffee machine and I’m also a barista and I lived in New York City for seven years before I moved to the UK.

“Playing him is such an honour. When he passed, my director reached out to say that it was so sad he passed away but also how lovely it would be for me to be back on stage and be one of the first people to give tribute to him again.

“We changed a couple of things (after the actor died) – one being that at the very end of the show – when all the characters talk about what they’ve done since Friends – I blow a kiss to the heavens and I think the audience love the moment and that we acknowledge that he’s passed away.”

This is the first time Friends! The Musical Parody tours the UK.

TV show imitates actor’s life

And it’s not just Gunther’s life that’s so similar to Jonathan’s. When moving furniture to his NYC apartment, Jonathan and his friends couldn’t stop quoting one of the famous scenes from the TV show.

He said: “It’s the ‘Pivot’ (something that Ross shouts multiple times during a popular scene) moment when they’re trying to get the couch into the apartment. I, personally, had to do the same thing in New York City.

“I was moving as a group – there was six of us and we were trying to get the couch through the door and it wouldn’t fit so I ended up taking off the French doors of our balcony, tied a rope around the couch and started pulling it up.

“Every single time I watch Friends it reminds me of something in my 20s. Especially ‘Pivot’, that’s is such an iconic New York City moment. The amount of times we made the Pivot joke during the four or five hours of trying to get the couch in…”

Friends! The Musical Parody is on its way to Aberdeen and Inverness

While Friends! The Musical Parody is clearly aimed at those who love the show, Jonathan says it’s not just Friends fans who’ll enjoy their musical parody.

“My mother-in-law has actually never seen the TV show before I got cast,” said Jonathan.

“So all we did was show her the first two episodes and she sort of understood all the characters at that point.

“The other nice thing is that we also comment on the actual actors themselves. It does work towards Friends fans, people who were alive in the 90s and 00s and also musical theatre fans.

“We have references to other musicals such as Chicago and Rent in the show. I think the show finds a really good balance between all levels of Friends fans and musical theatre fans.”

Pure nostalgic escapism

Friends! The Musical Parody hopes to make people forget their troubles for a few hours and take them on a wonderfully nostalgic journey.

Jonathan said: “It’s a lovely throwback to make you laugh. We’ve all had to move furniture and go through all these things and I think it just takes you back to a lovely part in your own life when your friends were your family and you’re figuring out work…

“I think we as people just want to laugh again, we’ve been cooped up for two years, we haven’t really been able to do and see things… audiences can just forget their worries for a while.”

How to book tickets to see Friends! The Musical Parody in Aberdeen and Inverness

Friends! The Musical Parody will visit Aberdeen on May 10 at The Tivoli and May 22 at Eden Court in Inverness. Click here to buy tickets for the Aberdeen show and here for the Inverness one.

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