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A theatre company is performing live 'Friends' episodes re-imagined for the twenty-first century

Alexandra Sims

The 1990s – it was a simpler time. An era of VHS, girl power, Teletext and Tamagotchis; a happier place when ‘things could only get better’ and Oasis were still speaking to each other. Now, anyone hankering to re-live those days can rejoice, as ‘Cool Britiania’ is about to hurtle into Theresa May’s Brexit Britain.

Twenty-five years on, the folks at RIFT – the company who brought 'Macbeth' to an east London tower block and created a roaming version of 'The Trial' – are about to revive the last years of the twentieth century. Tottenham warehouse Styx will be taken over by a ’90s-inspired season of plays, film screenings, music, debates and parties, as well as a twenty-first century re-imagining of one of the most culturally significant TV shows of the decade – 'Friends'.

In the 2010s, will Joey be asking girls to come to his apartment for 'Netflix and chill'? How sarcastic would Chandler's Facebook page be? Would we all be stalking Rachel's Instagram account? 'Mates' views the classic sitcom under a 2017 lens, imagining what the six iconic characters would be up to today. Each 22-minute (what else?) performance will begin each evening of the season, which will also be showing performances of Sarah Kane’s shocking first play, 'Blasted', Anthony Neilson's semi-fictional play 'Normal', about a man who terrorised Germany in 1929, and Caryl Churchill's 'The Skriker', giving an otherworldly, grotesque take on human nature and the story of our existence. 

In addition to all the ’90s theatrics, there'll be live music nights celebrating the era's musical legacy with everything from Nirvana to the Spice Girls, a party from Figs in Wigs, a Björk-inspired drag show featuring Take That tribute act Take Twat, a tribute to 1990s hip hop from ITCH FM and 1990s techno from Vector Space for anyone wanting to re-live their rave days. What more could a ’90s kid ask for? 

RIFT's 1990s season will take place at Styx from February 28 to April 8. See their website for a full programme of events.

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