The Two Friends (with Peter Benson)

This play was my first experience at collaborative writing – and a great success, as far as I am concerned. Peter Benson brought along all his linguistic sharpness and British wry humour – while I added my knowledge of eighteenth-century history and literature, and my passion for Russian satirical writing. The result is what John Calder generously described with the following words: “The authors have cleverly caught the atmosphere and the preoccupations of the time, and the play well deserves being added to the repertory of period drama”.






A theatrical retelling of Gogol’s famous story of the two Ivans squabbling over a trifling insult, The Two Friends transposes the action to the village of Newington Green on the outskirts of London in the year 1722, when Daniel Defoe was a resident of the parish, the South Sea Bubble had recently burst and a terrible gin epidemic was about to break out.

Peppered with memorable lines, populated by an unforgettable cast of characters and written by multi-award-winning duo Peter Benson and Alessandro Gallenzi, The Two Friends is about the triumph of hilarity in a “dreary old world”.

Available for purchase from the publisher’s website