Watch: We experience Friends nostalgia in Birmingham at this amazing interactive show & you can too

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Friends may have ended in 2004 but you can go on a nostalgia trip about the American sitcom in Birmingham from today (July 8) at the NEC. Here’s our detailed review of what to expect

No matter how old you, you will have heard about the American sitcom Friends. And, if you are a fan of the show - there’s a special treat in store for you at the NEC in Birmingham.

The show about the main characters - Rachel, Ross, Monica, Joey, Chandley and Phoebe - may have ended in 2004 but thanks to OTTs like Netflix and others - you can probably still watch it regardless of your geographical location. But, what you can’t do anywhere except in Birmingham from July 8 to August 18, 2023 is the FRIENDS Experience.

It is making its UK debut after successful runs in Paris and Brussels. The interactive experience created by Warner Bros. has captured the most iconic moments from the globally loved television series and lets fans relive and be part of the show. It feels like filling the shoes of the star cast of the show: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry.

It’s packed with nostalgia, cheesecake, coffee, and sofas! As massive FRIENDS fans, my husband and I headed down to the NEC for a preview of the immersive experience. After a short train ride from Birmingham New Street and a long walk to Hall 10 of the NEC, we arrived at the doors of the FRIENDS experience.

At the entry, you can get yourself a photocard with a QR code - which can be scanned at different points in the hall for a special purpose. Firstly, everyone can’t enter at one go and there are specific slots to enter the closeley guarded entry to the set of the show.

On entering, there’s a short video about what you are going to see next and how to go about the tour. After the video - in none other than Janice’s voice - the first stop is the sofa in front of the fountain where the theme song was played.

While there were restrictions about touching certain items and memorabilia, the orange sofa is very much part of the experience. We sat on it and the team at hand took a photo of us. This is where the QR code comes in - it’s scanned before they take a photo and you can see the digital images after you exit the tour.

We were able to recreate the famous “PIVOT” scene where Ross, Rachel and Chandley try to carry Ross’s sofa up the stairs, rather unsuccessfully. Other sets included Monica’s kitchen and Rachel and Monica’s purple door, Chandler and Joey’s relaxing recliners.

After a tour of the character’s apartments, learning all about the hairstyles, costumes, and the script - the last stop was none other than the famous coffee shop they always hung out at.

You can take up Phoebe’s spot in front of the microphone, or take a seat at the orange sofa they also lounged in - and even take a place behind the counter like Rachel, Joey and Gunther would have worked.

There are several mementos to be taken home with you like Joey’s favourite penguin - Hugsie, photos of you posing with the dog statute, and lots more. For more information, visit the FRIENDS experience website.

Here are 10 photos from the FRIENDS experience that will make you want to visit too:

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