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Absent Friends

Absent Friends A dramatic comedy by Alan Ayckbourn Directed by Peter Roberts Season 1 2017: 2 March to 18 March By special arrangement with Origin Theatrical Pty Ltd (Samuel French)

This frantic comedy comes from one of England's most acclaimed playwrights, Sir Alan Ayckbourn.

It is the summer of 1974, and a well-intentioned tea party descends into chaos. Wealthy, unfulfilled housewife Diana arranges a gathering of old friends to cheer up bereaved Colin, whose fiancée drowned two months earlier. Paul, her bullying, self-absorbed husband, has had a recent dalliance with Evelyn, the glamorous wife of his friend and incompetent business associate, John. The party is completed by long-suffering Marge, who has left Gordon, her hypochondriac spouse, ailing at home.

Preparations for the party spark tensions and open old wounds. As lingering resentments and deep-rooted jealousies surface, an unexpectedly cheerful Colin strolls into the mayhem.

Acerbic and painfully funny, Absent Friends explores friendship, marriage and what it ultimately means to be happy. In one of his finest plays, Ayckbourn's craftsmanship and acute social observation have never been sharper or more biting.



Donna Cleverley


Adrienne George


Lindy Yeates


Stephen Freeman


Trent Bockman


Div Collins



Peter Roberts

Set Design:

John Shelbourn

Lighting Design:

Nicholas Ryan

Sound Design:

Nicholas Ryan


Sylvia Carr

Production Manager

Catherine Garside

Stage Manager:

Emily Carter

Lighting Operator:

Nicholas Ryan

Sound Operator:

Nicholas Ryan


Emily Carter and Catherine Garside

Rehearsals Prompt:

Fiona Carter

Set Construction:

Steve Nichols, Ernie Hicks, Les Wallis, Ray Bell, Luc Hermans and Keith Boulton

Set Painting:

Brenton Staples and John Shelbourn


Kevin Trask

Facebook Page:

Emily Carter


Les Wallis

Office Administration:

John Martin

Box Office & Administration

Anne Rogers-Davidson

Promotional Video:

Regan Wood – Hit 66

Front of House Manager

Lesley Bailey

Assisted by Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre Company Volunteers

Photography & Programme

John Shelbourn

Program Printing

Snap Printing Lilydale

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39-41 Castella St, Lilydale VIC 3140

Postal Address

PO BOX 393, Lilydale VIC 3140

Theatre Office Hours are 10am-2pm Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

Evening performances,

7.30pm refreshments, 8.00pm start.

Matinee performances,

1.30pm refreshments, 2.00pm start

Credit Card Facilities Available

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