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The Way Old Friends Do Tickets

Criterion Theatre

Devotion, dancing queens and drag collide in Ian Hallard’s joyful play about an ABBA mega-fan who forms an incomparable tribute act.

Tickets for The Way Old Friends Do On Sale Now

Get your dancing shoes ready and have the time of your life as the story of an ABBA tribute act like no other hits the West End! Following a world premiere at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, The Way Old Friends Do transfers to the Criterion Theatre for a strictly limited season this August. This story of friendship, drag performance, and fandom is the ultimate uplifting show that will leave you grinning from ear to ear and humming along at the curtain call.

What is The Way Old Friends Do about?

The year is 1988 and two school friends have just come out: one as gay, the other as an ABBA fan. Fast-forward thirty years, and the two get back in touch after a chance encounter that will change their lives for good. Together, they set up the world’s first-ever ABBA tribute band performed totally in drag, and head off on tour around the UK. Will their friendship survive the stresses of performances in random towns, beard glue, platform shoes and handsome strangers?

Joyful, funny, tender and brimming with an infectious love for Sweden’s most famous export, this is a show for anyone who has ever been a fan of something and just wants to share their enthusiasm with the world - whether that’s football, pop music or films.

The Way Old Friends Do West End Cast and Creatives

Ian Hallard (The Boys in the Band) writes and stars as Peter - AKA Agnetha - in The Way Old Friends Do, imbuing the whole show with his own love and extensive knowledge of ABBA, from their greatest hits to the most obscure facts. It is also set in and influenced by his hometown, Birmingham, where Eurovision was held in 1998.

He is joined by a cast including Donna Berlin as Sally, Sarah Crowe as Mrs Campbell, Andrew Horton as Christian, Rose Shalloo as Jodie and Anton Tweedale as Edward. The show also features the voices of Miriam Margolyes and Paul O’Grady.

The company are directed by Mark Gatiss (The Unfriend; League of Gentlemen), with dazzling set and costume design by Janet Bird.

Don’t Miss The Way Old Friends Do Tickets

You’ll definitely want to lay all your love on this fantastic show! This “heart-on-its-sequinned sleeve story” (The Times) brings the joy of fandom to the heart of London, with tickets available now.

Sorry this show closed 09 September 2023, we recommend these similar productions.

Fawlty Towers
A View From the Bridge
The Mousetrap
Performance dates:
08 Sep 2023 - 09 Sep 2023
Running time:
2 hours and 15 minutes including an interval.
Age recommendation:
Best for age 14+

The Way Old Friends Do Reviews

78 Reviews
  • 5 Stars33%
  • 4 Stars41%
  • 3 Stars19%
  • 2 Stars4%
  • 1 Stars3%

User Reviews


This is a comedy but it does have some substance to it. The characters are credible. The writing is great. The acting is authentic and Sara Crowe is a delight. This is definitely not a jukebox musical without the music which is what I was expecting. Read more

Performance date: 30 August 2023

Written by and starring Ian Hallard, and directed by his husband Mark Gatiss this is like a nostalgic trip down memory lane, the way old friends do. Peter and Edward are old school chums who, by a chance encounter years later, reunite and have a craz Read more

Performance date: 07 September 2023

A clever set with rotating centre wall keeps the story flowing. Some of the costumes get a big reaction so time should be taken to allow that to die down before continuing dialogue. Fun show with likeable characters.

Performance date: 17 August 2023
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