Devotion, desire … dancing queens

AT school, two friends came out to each other – one as gay and the other as an ABBA fan. Thirty years later this proves to be a life-changing revelation – and the basis for an acclaimed new comedy which comes to Bath Theatre Royal from Tuesday 30th May to Saturday 3rd June.

Written by and starring actor and playwright Ian Hallard and directed by the multi-talented Mark Gatiss, The Way Old Friends Do is described as a comedy about “devotion, desire and dancing queens,” is a celebrateion of friendship and one of the world’s best loved pop groups.

It was 1988, when Peter (Ian Hallard) and Sally (Donna Berlin) tentatively came out to each other. Nearly 30 years later, a chance meeting sets them on a new path and they decide to form the world’s first ABBA tribute band – in drag! But can their friendship survive the tribulations of a life on the road which includes platform boots, fake beards and a distractingly attractive stranger?

Other leading cast members are James Bradshaw (Endeavour’s sardonic pathologist Dr Max DeBryn) as Edward, Olivier Award-winner Sara Crowe as Mrs Campbell, Andrew Horton as Christian and Rose Shalloo as Jodie. The play also features the voices of Miriam Margolyes as Nan and Paul O’Grady as Radio DJ.

Director Mark Gatiss is an actor, writer, member of The League of Gentlemen and co-creator and executive producer of the multi award-winning BBC series Sherlock, in which he played Mycroft Holmes.