Matthew Perry’s debut play opened officially at the Playhouse Theatre last night – but what did critics think of it? 

Variety: Matt Trueman said: “Director Lindsay Posner gets the script up on its feet — just about. But sitting through it, it’s more a case of longing for the end.”

The Guardian: ** Michael Billington wrote that: “while the play clearly aims to deal with four loners struggling to come to terms with early middle-age, it feels more like an extended sitcom in which there is little going on behind the lines.”

The Telegraph: ** Dominic Cavendish found that: “it all feels like a curious waste of time, money and effort.”

The Independent: ** Holly Williams thought that: “It is a woeful attempt at a dark-but-redemptive romcom.”

The Stage: *** Mark Shenton commented: “Lindsay Posner’s glossily designed and snappy production keeps it moving fast enough, and there are very strong performances from Perry’s co-stars Jennifer Mudge (as his new girlfriend), Lloyd Owen and Christina Cole as the friends.”

Time Out: ** Andrzej Lukowski said: “the play is often amusing, rarely preachy and always aware of the Kerouacian romance of the sauce.”

British Theatre.com: *** Danny Coleman-Cooke wrote that: “Perry excels with his character’s multiple quips and comebacks; it feels like familiar territory for him having spent over a decade dishing them out to millions on TV.”

A Younger Theatre: Tal Fox commented: “The small cast of four hold together this play fantastically and really work with Perry’s words. The result is one of the best plays I have seen in a long time.”

Broadway World.com: Laura Jones found that: “The production feels like a sitcom, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing – it makes this an easy to watch play.”

The Financial Times: *** Ian Shuttleworth wrote: “Perry’s Jack is, well, very Matthew Perry. He has that arch delivery, and sometimes even in the 800-capacity Playhouse he needs to use his indoor voice instead.”

West End Wilma: *** “It’s a fantasy, cinematic world where love conquers all – warm and soppy, if far from challenging.”

The Reviews Hub: *** (and a half) Daniel Perks said: “The End of Longing has an innate romantic apathy that gives it an alternative flavour.”

West End Frame: *** Andrew Tomlins thought that: “Some people simply are not going to get The End of Longing whilst others will enjoy seeing a different genre and style of comedy being reflected on a West End stage.”

Radio Times:  Tony Peters said: “Matthew Perry’s first foray into playwriting certainly needs a bit of editing.”

British Theatre Guide: Philip Fisher wrote: “Friends junkies will absolutely lap up what is generally a superficial comedy, enjoying every moment of the experience and wallowing in the chance to see one of their darlings in the flesh.”

WhatsOnStage:  **** Michael Coveney said: “Perry’s a novice playwright, but one of great promise, and that sort of detail, and confidence, may follow in due course.”

The End of Longing is booking until the 14th May. To book tickets visit: ATG Tickets, Ticketmaster.co.uk, Discount Theatre.com, Last Minute.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk

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