What’s better than ABBA? An ABBA tribute act performed entirely in drag! The Way Old Friends Do is a touching love letter to the Swedish pop group and an uplifting meditation on friendship by Ian Hallard. This super-trouper play about two friends who form a world-first tribute group was a hit during its premiere at Birmingham Repertory Theatre earlier this year, and now brings glitter, glamour and fabulous fun to the Criterion Theatre for a strictly limited season. Tickets from £19: here.

In 1988, two school friends decide to come out to each other. One comes out as gay, the other as an ABBA super-fan! Thirty years later, they reconnect and form a tribute band like the world has never seen: ABBA entirely in drag! But as they set off on tour, will their friendship survive the trials and tribulations of platform heels, glued-on beards and handsome strangers who are determined to turn their heads?

The Way Old Friends Do play is a joyful comedy about friendship and fandom, written by and starring Ian Hallard as Peter. Playwright and actor Hallard (The Boys in the Band) is a massive ABBA fan, bringing his own love of the group to the stage. 

The show is directed by Mark Gatiss, whose latest work The Unfriend opened at the Criterion Theatre in 2023. Gatiss is an acclaimed writer and actor who has worked on shows including Sherlock and The League of Gentlemen. 

Further casting includes Donna Berlin as Sally, Sara Crowe as Mrs Campbell, Andrew Horton as Christian, Rose Shalloo as Jodie, Anton Tweedale as Edward, and the voices of Miriam Margolyes and Paul O’Grady as Nan and Radio DJ. 

This laugh-out-loud comedy will awaken the dancing queen in all of us! The Way Old Friends Do play is in the West End for a limited season from 17 August – 9 September 2023.