TO ALL THE FRIENDS I'VE LOST BEFORE
21/07/2022 - 23/07/2022
08/03/2023 - 10/03/2023
Written and directed by Sarah Bradley
Nat is stressed. Everyone knows there are a million ways to leave your lover, but how do you tell a friend that you’re tired of having semi-regular, awkward brunches? With the help of her best friend Sam, Nat navigates the ethics of ghosting, the traumas of high school drama, the agony of the unrequited friend crush, and above all, the big question – when it comes to a failing friendship, is it better to confront your feelings, or just walk away?
Note: This show was originally scheduled for March 2022 as part of the Fringe festival, and a number of ticketholders opted to donate the cost of their ticket to the artists (thank you!). If this was you, select ‘I donated my ticket’ and you can get a ticket to the July show for free. If you aren’t sure whether you donated your ticket, or you have any other questions, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
17b Allen Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011
Thu 21st – Sat 23rd Jul 2022
FREE – $15 NZD
NZ Fringe 2023
FatG at Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street, Wellington
Wednesday 8 – Friday 10 March 2023
Nat: Isabella de Silva)
Sam: Sarah Bradley (replacing Katherine Dewar who originated the role for the postponed Fringe season)
We all need a friend that earns our company and this show does just that
Review by Talia Carlisle 11th Mar 2023
“What makes a good friendship?” is a question I often think about. Because when life gets hard, and illness strikes, our friends become more than part of our lives, they become a lifeline.
That’s where our lead Nat has a dilemma: when that lifeline isn’t working the way it should, when and how do you cut the cord?
To All The Friends I’ve Lost Before is an ode to Generation-RomCom – those who have grown up on romantic comedies and dealt with those high school dramas, friendship traumas, but are ready to stand up for their happy ending, or happy friending in this case.
In this third season of the show since 2022, the well-executed dramedy at Gryphon Theatre follows Nat and her best friend Sam on a Friday night movie night as they discuss all the plots and twists of friendships in their own lives to give audiences something to ponder, something to savour, and a prod to host some difficult conversations with the friends in their own lives.
The title is a spin on my all-time favourite cheesy teen movie, To All The Friends I’ve Loved Before, and it deserves a great name because it’s a great show.
Nat (writer and director Sarah Bradley) is easily likeable, relatable, and memorable with her comic references and comfortable first-person address to the audience – as if we’re also on the couch eating popcorn and jelly snakes and corn chips like her best friend Sam.
El Yule plays Sam, on the other couch, the cheerleader, the “you deserve better” friend – until the tables turn and all jelly snakes point to her friendship on the cutting board.
Will she make the cut?
You’ll have to find out.
I am praying for a return season or even a trilogy like its movie counterpart. Because we all need a friend that earns our company and this show does just that.
So now, as Nat says, there is only one thing left to do. “Good luck for the conversations you’re going to have with your friends”.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer
Honest, heartfelt and generous
Review by Margaret Austin 22nd Jul 2022
I’m disgruntled when I finally spot the ill-lit Circus Bar on Allen Street, just in time for the show, but I’m mollified by the free load of popcorn that comes with my glass of wine.
To All the Friends I’ve Lost Before surely references tragedies such as war and people dying of cancer, I’m thinking. But no – we’re here to put friendship under the spotlight.
Two friends – Nat (Isabella de Silva) and Sam (Sarah Bradley, replacing Katherine Dewar) – greet each other affectionately and we seem set for a conventional conversation. But it quickly takes an unexpected turn when Nat, albeit with stumbling embarrassment, confesses that she’s found someone else she’d rather spend time with. “But we’ve been friends for a long time,” protests Sam, a statement that appropriately prefaces an honest and heartfelt examination of what it means to be a real friend.
There’s some sound advice sandwiched into the dialogue and appreciated by the youthful audience. Sam’s well targeted comments dramatically juxtapose Nat’s uncertainty. There’s mention of gossiping, gaslighting, bitching and backstabbing. I’m forced to reconsider my own young years in a different light – why do I think I wasn’t confronted with these grim scenarios? Are they yet another unfortunate by product of the age we’re living in?
Nat’s afraid of “unlived futures” if she can’t find a satisfying friendship with either a man or a woman. Letting us into her insecurity and self-questioning is an act of generosity.
Just one note to the actors – some words are lost or difficult to catch. A bit more projection, plus a slightly slower delivery, would help, even in such a small performance space.
To All the Friends I’ve Lost Before is written and directed by Sarah Bradley. Emily Totman is crew. Props amount to a bottle of rosé – wisely consumed to help the dialogue along.
- Copyright © belongs to the reviewer
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer