REVIEW: FRIEND (The One With Gunther), Dorchester Arts, Dorchester Corn Exchange

FRIEND (The One With Gunther) was a one-hour, one-man wonder.

Set a matter of months after the final episode aired, the sunshine-haired barista is on a mission to track down his six 'missing' friends - most importantly Rachel, for whom his love has never wavered.

To accomplish this task, Gunther sets out to analyse the last 10 years, during which the inseparable six have sat in Central Perk and seen their lives take unpredictable and unexpected turns.

So begins a hilarious, high-energy, high-speed journey from 1994 to 2004, and everything in between. Complete with uncanny imitations of the characters, plus cats, monkeys, a holiday armadillo, triplets, trifle, a box of shame, love affairs with both the old and the young, proposals, marriages, divorces (three of them), and of course the continuous will they/won’t they storyline between you know who, the show certainly achieves its remit, condensing ten seasons of the world’s favourite sitcom into just 60 minutes.

The talent of Brendan Murphy, who brought to life the eccentric coffee shop owner, must be applauded: FRIEND was a mean feat, but masterfully delivered. Murphy's audience interaction was second to none, to the extent where an unsuspecting woman was assigned the task of delivering the iconic words, "I got off the plane." There wasn't an unsmiling face in the house.

It was all a bit mad, but nevertheless a lovely tribute to the show that ruled the world for a decade. And like the sitcom itself, there were hidden meanings beneath the humour, cultivating in the ultimate message that sometimes in life, it’s okay to be the supporting character.