When I told people I was going to FriendsFest, most looked confused and thought I was going to some hippy event that taught you about the importance of friendship, or some such bollocks. Not so much.
Instead, it was the opportunity to relive the 90s (who doesn’t want to do that?) and celebrate the TV show that introduced us Joey, Monica, Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Phoebe, Marcel, Janice, Gunther, Crap Bag, Chick, Duck, Ugly Naked Guy and many, many more.
Fellow Friendophile Jen joined me in Haggerston Park to go around the exhibitions, starting with Monica’s apartment. As well as looking true to life (although you couldn’t get in the bathroom or bedrooms), there were little nods to moments in the show, such as a recipe for trifle and shepherd’s pie pinned to the fridge door.
Joey and Chandler’s apartment isn’t given quite the same level of attention, but Central Perk is certainly true to life, and there were plenty of helpful staff there to snap your pictures, which would have been something of an endless task – one lady said she was taking photos for about 12 hours solid the previous day, such was the footfall at the event.
There’s also the chance to recreate the titles, as well as Ross and Rachel’s Vegas wedding but that’s about it. There’s a stage area that housed a big screen with some classic moments on, although it feels as though it should have a special guest on to make it worth the £24, but as it was, spending that on a few unique photo opportunities seemed a bit steep, but then again, I am northern.
If you think it sounds worthwhile, you can still get tickets for it as it tours around the country, and let’s face it – when else can you belt out Smelly Cat to a bunch of people in Central Perk?