Written by Ian Hallard
Directed by Mark Gatiss


The Way Old Friends Do

Written by Ian Hallard
Directed by Mark Gatiss


The Way Old Friends Do is a new comedy about devotion, desire and dancing queens.
In 1988, two school friends tentatively come out to one another: one as gay, the other - more shockingly - as an ABBA fan. Nearly thirty years later, a chance meeting sets them on a brand-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?

Simultaneously tender and laugh-out loud funny, this heartfelt story will appeal to anyone who understands how it feels to be a fan: of ABBA or of anyone. 


Donna Berlin – SALLY
Sara Crowe
Ian Hallard – PETER
Andrew Horton – CHRISTIAN
Rose Shalloo – JODIE
Anton Tweedale – EDWARD

Miriam Margolyes – Voice of NAN
Paul O’Grady – Voice of RADIO DJ

Megan Bly – Company Stage Manager
James Prendergast – Assistant Stage Manager
David Rees – Head of Wardrobe
Joe Samuels – Relighter & Production Electrician
Thomas Baum - Production Carpenter

Toby Holloway – Understudy for CHRISTIAN / Assistant Stage Manager
Tariye Peterside – Understudy for SALLY, MRS CAMPBELL & JODIE
Joe Sargent – Understudy for PETER & EDWARD


Ian Hallard – WRITER
Mark Gatiss – DIRECTOR
Ben Harrison – SOUND DESIGNER 

The Birmingham Rep production
presented by James Seabright
in association with Jason Haigh-Ellery and Park Theatre


Tour Dates

The Way Old Friends Do has ended its UK tour and West End run at London's Criterion Theatre.

Thu 17 Aug - Sat 9 Sep
The Criterion Theatre


Writer and Peter

Ian Hallard

For theatre, The Boys in the Band (Park/Vaudeville Theatres) - Whatsonstage Awards Best Actor nomination, Scenes From An Execution and Great Britain (National Theatre), Hogarth’s Progress (Rose, Kingston), Tonight at 8:30 (Jermyn Street), Lovesong of the Electric Bear (Hope/Arts Theatres),  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Theatre Clwyd), Lilies (Greenwich), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Vote (Donmar Warehouse), Tumulus (Soho Theatre), and Donkeys’ Years (UK tour). On television, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Endeavour, The Power, The Crown, Poirot, Marple, Doctors, Crooked House, The Worst Journey in the World; and on film, Mary, Queen of Scots, The Act and The Dark Room. He has written and been script associate on three episodes of Poirot for ITV. His first play Adventurous was produced online by Jermyn Street Theatre in March 2021. Further writing for theatre includes Steenie, about the relationship between King James I and the Duke of Buckingham (Turbine), and Horse-Play (Riverside Studios).


Mark Gatiss

Mark Gatiss has had a long and varied career as a writer, director and producer, as well as an actor and published author. He is best known as a member of The League of Gentlemen and as the co-creator and executive producer of the multi award-winning BBC series Sherlock, in which he played Mycroft Holmes. He both wrote for and appeared in the modern revival of Doctor Who, and was the writer and executive producer of An Adventure in Space and Time for its 50th anniversary celebrations. He also co-created the BBC and Netflix drama Dracula, and has written and directed several BBC ghost stories, including The Mezzotint, Martin’s Close, The Dead Room, The Tractate Middoth. As an actor, recent screen work includes Mission Impossible 7Operation Mincemeat, The FatherThe FavouriteChristopher RobinGunpowderWolf HallCoalition and Game of Thrones; and on stage, Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse), The Boys in the Band (Park/Vaudeville Theatres), Three Days in the Country (National Theatre: Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role), the title role in The Madness of George III (Nottingham Playhouse), and Jacob Marley in his own adaptation of A Christmas Carol (Nottingham Playhouse and Alexandra Palace). He has recently directed Steven Moffat’s debut play The Unfriend for Chichester Theatre, which in 2023 will transfer to the Criterion Theatre in the West End. 


Donna Berlin

Donna Berlin is an Actress, Choreographer and Movement Director. She started dancing at the age of 3 and her love of the performing arts grew when she later attended stage school. At the age of 11 she appeared in her first film, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and since then she has never looked back. Donna’s theatre credits include The Clinic (Almeida), The Gift (Belgrade/UK Tour), Chasing Rainbows (Hoxton Hall), Princess and the Hustler (Bristol Old Vic/Hull Truck tour - nominated for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ at Broadway World Regional 2019 Awards), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sheffield Crucible), The Chalk Garden (Chichester Festival), Great Apes (Arcola), Of Kith and Kin (Sheffield Crucible/ The Bush), Anna Karenina (Manchester Royal Exchange/WYP), Rolling Stone (Royal Exchange/WYP), Blood Wedding and The Bacchae (Royal & Derngate), Keeping Mum (Brockley Jack), Counted/Look Right Look Left (County Hall/ UK Tour), Puffins (Nabokov/ Southwark Playhouse), and The Vagina Monologues (Pleasance). Donna’s television credits include Nolly, Doctors, Breeders, Requiem, Game Face, Eastenders, Todd Margaret, Drifters, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, New Tricks, Extras - Series B, Lead Balloon, Casualty, Judge John Deed, and Beautiful People. Donna’s credits in feature films include In Darkness, Monochrome, Dinner With My Sisters, Press Your Lips (LFS short), Blinda (short). Donna’s choreography and movement direction credits include Dick Whittington (Nottingham Playhouse), Trouble in Mind (NT), Aladdin (Mercury), Waves and Attempts on Her Life (NT), and The Merry Widow and Carmen (Opera UK). Donna spent 6 years as Resident Choreographer at The Queens, Hornchurch and has done many in-house productions at LAMDA where she was a member of the movement department for over 30 years.


Sara Crowe

Scots born Sara is known for her iconic comedy roles across both screen and stage. Her work across the West End has been met with great critical acclaim. Sara’s theatre credits include most recently A Touch of Danger (Royal, Windsor) and Sheila’s Island (UK Tour). Also on tour How the Other Half Loves, Fallen Angels, Acorn Antiques the Musical, Calendar Girls the Musical, and The Constant Wife (Lyric/ UK tour). West End credits include Queers, One Voice: Monologues (Old Vic), Bedroom Farce (Duke of York’s), The Real Inspector Hound and Black Comedy (Comedy), Calendar Girls (Noel Coward), Twelfth Night (Playhouse), Plunder (Savoy), Hay Fever (Albery - Olivier nomination for best comedy performance), Private Lives (Aldwych - Olivier Award for best supporting actress, Critics Circle most promising newcomer Award and Variety Club best actress award) and The City Madam (RSC). Sara’s television credits include Midsomer Murders, Eastenders, Skins, Big Meg in Big Meg/Little Meg, Born and Bred, The Harry Enfield Show, The Rory Bremner Show, Alas Smith and Jones, and the Christmas ghost story Martin’s Close. Sara’s film credits include Four Weddings & A Funeral, Carry on Columbus, Scarlett and Round Ireland with a Fridge. Sara has written two novels, Campari For Breakfast and Martini Henry published by Transworld. Sara has written for the stage, Siobhan Basset’s Hound of the Baskervilles (Yvonne Arnaud).


Andrew Horton 

Andrew Horton trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Andrew is best known for his starring role as Brandon Sampson / Paragon in Jupiter’s Legacy, released in 2021. His credits for film include How To Talk to Girls at Parties and Slotherhouse. Andrew’s stage credits include playing the title role of Dorian Gray in The Picture of Dorian Gray (English Theatre, Hamburg) and Jonathan Harker in Dracula (Touring Consortium).


Rose Shalloo

Rose trained at Musical Theatre Academy, with recent theatre credits including A Christmas Carol (Old Vic), Malory Towers (UK Tour), The Selfish Giant (Vaudeville), Fiddler On The Roof (Chichester Festival), and A Pacifist’s Guide To The War On Cancer (NT). Her television credits include Holby City, The Scandalous Lady W, Call The Midwife, and The Five. Rose has also appeared in the film Emma.  


Anton Tweedale

Anton lives in South London with his cat, Nomi Malone. His favourite ABBA song is (currently) "My Love, My Life”. Anton’s credits for theatre include The Mousetrap (West End), Death Knell (UK Tour), Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest (UK Tour), Looking For Gatsby (The Other Palace), It’s A Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Play (Old Joint Stock, Birmingham), Alright B*tches! (Above The Stag), Miracle on 34th Street - A Live Musical Radio Play (Town & Gown, Cambridge), and Ordinary Days (London Theatre Workshop). Anton has also appeared many times in Paul Taylor-Mills' weekly repertory seasons at Theatre Royal Windsor and Sidmouth’s Manor Pavilion, playing characters ranging from Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple to Alfie the octogenarian waiter in One Man, Two Guvnors. He made his debut as a director in the Manor Pavilion Sidmouth’s 2021 repertory season with a production of Neil Simon’s California Suite that also played at the New Peterborough, and he returned last year to direct The Perfect Murder by Peter James and Shaun McKenna.


Miriam Margolyes 

Miriam is a British-Australian actress who has achieved incredible success on both stage and screen. Miriam is an award-winning actress whose accolades include winner of the BAFTA Best Supporting Actress Award for The Age of Innocence, Best Supporting Actress in the LA Critics Circle Awards for Little Dorrit, and a Sony Radio Award for Best Supporting Actress for her recording of Oliver Twist. Her voice work has been internationally acclaimed, and she is regarded as the most accomplished female voice in Britain: she has recorded many audio books including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Alice in Wonderland, and Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Matilda, Pinnocchio, The Worst Witch series, and The Queen & I, which is one of the best-selling audio books in the world. She has voiced many TV documentaries, including The Human Body, and numerous commercials, the most famous probably being the Manikin Cigar ads, the Cadbury's Caramel Bunny & Dolly, the Chimp in the PG Tips Campaign. She is now the voice of Mama in the Dolmio TV commercials. She is also Nana Sheila in the Disney Miniseries NINA NEEDS TO GO. Her credits from her extensive and celebrated career include, for film Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter series, Baz Lurman’s Romeo and Juliet, Yentl, Little Shop of Horrors, I Love You To Death, End of Days, Sunshine, Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence, Cold Comfort Farm & Magnolia. She starred in Stephen Hopkins' The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Modigliani, Istvan Szabo's Being Julia, and Ladies in Lavender. Miriam’s credits for television include Old Flames, Freud, Life and Loves of a She Devil, Blackadder, The Girls of Slender Means, Oliver Twist, The History Man, Vanity FairSupply & Demand, Merlin, and Trollied. Miriam’s stage credits include The West End and Broadway production of Wicked, Sydney & The Old Girl (Park), The Lady in the Van (Melbourne), Me & My Girl (The Duchess), Endgame (The Duchess), The Vagina Monologues (Arts), and She Stoops To Conquer (West End).


Paul O’Grady

Paul was an English comedian, presenter, actor, writer and drag queen. He was most known from his time presenting The Paul O’Grady Show and Paul O’Grady Live which aired on ITV. Paul O’Grady began his comedy career in the pub and club circuit via his alter ego Lily Savage. Lily’s television career includes hosting The Lily Savage Show, Lily Live, and Lily Savage’s Blankety Blank. Her theatre career has seen her touring nationally with her own live show, a twelve-week run in the West End and national tour in Prisoner Cell Block H – The Musical, and playing Miss Hannigan in Annie at the Victoria Palace Theatre and on national tour. Paul also had an incredibly successful television career as himself. He presented two travel shows Paul O’Grady’s Orient and Paul O’Grady’s America in the early 2000s. In 2004 he launched his highly successful chat-show The Paul O’Grady Show which ran for twelve series and featured countless all-star guests. 


Toby Holloway

Toby trained at Queen Margaret University and Napier University simultaneously, graduating with Honours in 2020 during lockdown. In 2022 he toured the UK for 4 months with the critically acclaimed Trainspotting Live as an Understudy and Assistant Stage Manager, his first professional credit. He is excited to be part of the debut tour of The Way Old Friends Do and to be working with such renowned creatives both on and off stage.


Tariye Peterside

Tariye is an Actor and Voiceover Artist from Nigeria who has worked both in the UK and internationally across stage, screen, video games and audio dramas. Tariye’s stage credits include Second Person Narrative (Arcola Women’s Company), Lysistrata (Waterloo East), The Gauntlet (Karamel Club), and The Games Afoot (Waterloo East). Tariye’s audio credits include Season 2 of The X-Men Audio Drama, Batman: The Long Halloween, All We Left Unsaid, Dele Weds Destiny, Sade And Her Shadow Beasts, as well as numerous voiceovers for the BBC. Tariye has also appeared as a vocal artist in Company of Crime (Resistance Games). Social Media: @tariyepeterside


Joe Sargent

Joe is originally from Dorset, now based in Cambridge. He has been professionally acting since the age of 16. He has numerous TV and Film credits including Batman Begins (Warner Bros), Casualty (BBC), Holby City(BBC), Doc Martin (ITV), Down To Earth (BBC), Doctors (BBC), The Bill (ITV) and Honest (ITV). 

Joe’s stage roles include Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), Claudio (Much Ado About Nothing), Elyot Chase (Private Lives – Noel Coward), Jack Worthing (The Importance of Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde) and Nicola (Arms and The Man – George Bernard Shaw). Most recently Joe has been touring the Bernard Shaw two hander Village Wooing. He also writes Pantomime scripts under the banner of JoJo Pantos. He is thrilled to be joining the cast of The Way Old Friends Do (although not as thrilled as his Dad, Chris, who claims to be ABBA’s biggest fan!)


Janet Bird

Janet Bird was born and grew up in Cardiff and is now based in London. She received an MA in Scenography from Wimbledon School of Art and has designed theatre productions all over the world. Design for theatre includes: What’s New Pussycat? (Birmingham Rep), Paper, Talent, Guys And Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, Wizard Of Oz, and Hobson’s Choice (Sheffield), Our Lady of Blundellsands (Liverpool Everyman), Enjoy (West End & UK tour), The Madness of George III (Bath Theatre Royal & West End & UK Tour), The Merry Wives of Windsor (also US Tour), A Comedy of Errors, and Holding Fire (Shakespeare’s Globe), Adult Supervision (Park Theatre), Ken, Four Minutes Twelve Seconds (also Trafalgar Studios), Alphabetical Order (also UK Tour), and The Argument (Hampstead Theatre), Uncle Vanya (St James Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Mad Man (Plymouth Drum), The History Boys (West Yorkshire Playhouse / UK Tour); Way Upstream (Salisbury Playhouse); A Doll’s House (Exeter Northcott Theatre); Hay Fever (Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis); Single Spies and The Adventures of Woundman and Shirley (Theatre Royal, Bath / UK Tour); Tell Me on a Sunday (UK Tour); Longwave (Lyric Hammersmith); The Rocky Horror Show (West End & UK Tour). 


Andrew Exeter

Andrew is a Set & Lighting Designer based in London. He was a 2020 Stage Debut Award nominee for his Lighting Design on High Fidelity at the Turbine Theatre and is an OFFIE nominee on his design for LIFT at Southwark Playhouse. Set & Lighting Design: Oti Mabuse: I AM HERE (UK Tour – ROYO), Johannes Radebe: FREEDOM (UK Tour - ROYO), LIFT and Dogfight (Southwark Playhouse), The Last 5 Years (Minack Theatre), Daddy Issues (Seven Dials Playhouse), REHAB: A New Musical (Playground Theatre), Closer Than Ever and Scaramouche Jones, (Broadway HD/ Ginger Quiff Media),  BKLYN  (Broadway HD/ Lambert Jackson Productions), GUY: A New Musical  (UK Tour) and Millennials (The Other Palace). Lighting Design: Das Spongebob Musical (German International Tour - Show Slot), The Jungle Book, Bleak Expectations and Whistle Down The Wind  (The Watermill Theatre), West Side Story - (Ljubljana Festival Slovenia), Hair - directed by Arlene Phillips (London Palladium & Turbine Theatre), STAGE DOOR for Celebrity Cruises (TBI Media), High Fidelity  (The Turbine Theatre), Perception  (The Place and Stockholm Fringe) John & Jen, Once On This Island and Preludes (Southwark Playhouse) also Annual Pantomimes for  Crossroads Pantomimes & Mark Goucher Productions. Set Design: Lady Chatterley's Lover  (Shaftesbury Theatre, West End). www.andrewexeter.com


Ben Harrison

Sound designs include;  Bugsy Malone, 9 to 5,  Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Hairspray, Rock of Ages, Club Tropicana, Dr Dolittle, Fame, The Railway Children, The Wedding Singer, The Million Dollar Quartet, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Return To The Forbidden Planet, Happy Days The Musical, Carnaby Street, High Society, Blood Brothers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jekyll & Hyde, Tommy, Save The Last Dance For Me, The Boy Friend, Half A Sixpence, The Roy Orbison Story, This Is Elvis, Laughter In The Rain (UK tours); Cabaret, Scrooge, Soul Sister, Dreamboats & Petticoats and The Country Girl (West End & UK Tours); Starlight Express and Evita (International Tours); Whistle Down The Wind (UK & American Tours); Dancing In The Streets (West End & International Tours); Great British Bake Off The Musical (Cheltenham Everyman); Mame (Hope Mill Theatre); The Stick Maker Tales (National Theatre Wales); The Wizard of Oz & Into The Woods (Leeds Playhouse); Bugsy Malone (Hammersmith Lyric); Five Guys Named Moe (Festival Square Theatre & Marble Arch Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors, A Little Night Music and The Beggar’s Opera (Chester Storyhouse), Hedda Gabler (Northampton Royal); The Prodigals (Coventry Belgrade & Edinburgh Fringe); The King & I and Hairspray (Leicester Curve & UK Tour); Obama The Mamba (Leicester Curve & The Lowry); Simply Cinderella, The Pillowman, Hot Stuff, Gypsy, Hello Dolly!, Oliver, Piaf, Sweeney Todd, Chicago and The Sound of Music (Leicester Curve). Between 2002 and 2007 Ben was Head of Sound at Leicester’s Haymarket Theatre where he designed; West Side Story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Macbeth, An Illustrious Corpse, Beautiful Thing, The Fortune Club, East, Divine, The Bogus Woman (also Adelaide & New York), The Good Woman of Schezuan, Pacific Overtures, The Happy Prince and The Wizard of Oz. www.benharrisonsound.com


Marc Frankum CDG

Marc has cast Sky Comedy Rep, Tartuffe (Birmingham Rep), The Play what I Wrote (Birmingham Rep/UK Tour), Now Is Good (Storyhouse, Chester), Bang Bang (Northcott Theatre/UK Tour), The History Boys (Grand Theatre Wolverhampton), God of Chaos, The Kneebone Cadillac (Theatre Royal Plymouth), Jack and the Beanstalk, Dick Whittington, Cinderella, Aladdin (Theatre Royal Norwich), The Comedy of Errors, Baskerville, AladdinMoll FlandersPieces of String, Much Ado About Nothing, Clybourne ParkNoises OffMacbeth (Mercury Theatre Colchester), Dracula (Touring Consortium Theatre Company), The Full Monty (2018/19 & 2016/17 - UK Tour), Tonight at 8.30 (Jermyn Street Theatre), Hand to God (West End), The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night (Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank/Shakespeare’s Globe), Barbarians (Tooting Arts Club), When Blair had Bush and Bunga (Pleasance One), Dial M for Murder (UK Tour), The Duck House (West End), Goodnight Mister Tom (West End/Chichester Festival Theatre/The Children’s Touring Partnership), Stepping Out (Salisbury Playhouse), The Mousetrap (60th Anniversary Tour), The Woman In Black (West End), An Inspector Calls (UK Tour), Mother Adam (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Hairy Ape (Southwark Playhouse), End of the Rainbow (UK Tour), Sign of the Times (Duchess Theatre), Calendar Girls (UK Tour), Far Away (Bristol Old Vic), The History Boys (Theatre Royal Bath/West Yorkshire Playhouse), Sister Act, Secret Life of Humans 2022, The Totalitarians, Young Frankenstein, The Girl on the Train, Switzerland, Secret Life of Humans, The Effect, Sweeney Todd, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Children, Apologia, Cabaret, The Lion in Winter, Jekyll & Hyde the Musical, Hand to God, Pygmalion, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Handbagged, Spamalot, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Glass Menagerie, Disgraced, Death and the Maiden, Other Desert Cities, Ghost, The Musical, Strangers on a Train (English Theatre Frankfurt) and was casting associate on Big, the Musical (Plymouth/Dublin), Good Canary (Rose Theatre Kingston), The Bodyguard (West End) and Elf, The Musical (West End/Plymouth/Dublin/Manchester) and casting consultant on Love on the Links (Salisbury Playhouse), The Dark Room (Theatre 503), Chinese Whispers (Greenwich Theatre).





Gavin Joseph

Gavin’s theatre credits include Assistant Director for Liar Heretic Thief (Lyric Hammersmith), The Glee Club (Out of Joint) and The Unfriend (Chichester Festival). As a director Gavin's credits include Ad Nauseam (Lyric Hammersmith), Madam Interpreter (Stanley Arts), Hello, it’s me (Tamasha), and Little Threads (Selladoor). Gavin is currently an Associate Artist at Company Three where he will be writing and directing two new pieces of work in collaboration with young people from Islington. Gavin co-created and produced a podcast Bame(ish) commenting on the creative arts and providing a platform for young creatives from under-represented communities and backgrounds at the beginning of their careers. Gavin has worked as Assistant Director at Southwark Playhouse, Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust, Co-Lead at Kiln, Artist Consultant at The Old Vic, Associate Reader and Director for WoLab, Arts Festival Leader for I Am At Tate Exchange Festival, Lyric Ensemble and RADA Youth Company alumni, and also is an alumni of the Hackney Empire’s Writers Room. As an Actor Gavin appeared in The Cleaner and Marriages.

“So much to love, whether you’re an ABBA fan or not… hilariously funny and bang on the Money, Money, Money”
“Feel-good evening that makes you want to get your platform boots on and thank ABBA for the music”
Fairy Powered Productions
“A super trouper of a show”
“A genuine love letter to ABBA… blisteringly funny one-liners”
"A hugely enjoyable night at the theatre"
"Full of heart... enough witty one-liners to lift the spirits, whether or not you’re an ABBA fan"
"Take a chance on this show and I guarantee you will have the time of your life."
“Laugh out loud with a pathos to it, like all the best underdog British comedies.”
BBC Midlands Today
"‘A high-energy ode to fandom and friendship that’ll leave you with a giddy grin"
“Hilarious and surprisingly moving. You won’t want to miss it.”
“Heart-warming, funny and I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do recommend a visit!”


Marketing: kate@seabright.org

Press: paul@paulsullivan.info
Book the show at your venue: tom@seabright.org
Seabright Productions London office: 020 7439 1173