The Work: Plays

The Friends

1970, (3w 4m)


A brilliant group of friends from working-class backgrounds have become very successful interior designers, and opened many shops selling their designs. They find their success hollow because their designs were not bought by the working-class people whom they hoped would respond to 'things of beauty'.

Now they are gathered round one of their number, ESTHER, who is dying of leukaemia. Death makes them reassess both who they are and what they imagined they had achieved.

It also forces them to confront their own mortality.


"Esther's dying, Macey. We're growing old bit by bit. Every word is a second, passing. It'll never return, never. That's so absolute. I shall never be young again. I shall never laugh the same way again. I shall never love for the first time again, never discover my first sight of the sea, nor climb my first mountain, nor stumble across literature, never; I'll reach out to recapture or remember - but the first ecstasy of all things? Never again. So, it's important. I must know. What do I really love? What do I dare say I despise?"


This is Wesker's most ambitious play …Bold and finally beautiful in its dramatic sweep
Milton Shulman, Evening Standard