LONDON : “Friends” star Matthew Perry swaps the television screen for the London stage in “The End of Longing”, his playwriting debut about four people feeling the pressures of life as they reach their forties. The 46-year-old actor, who played Chandler Bing in “Friends”, leads the dark comedy’s cast and is reunited with director Lindsay Posner, who he worked with in the 2003 West End production. “I just wanted to write something by myself because I’d never written anything by myself before. So these monologues came out; that was the first thing that came out,” Perry said in an interview with Reuters. “So I realised I was writing a play. And I like the theme of people trying to improve themselves, and that’s what came out.”

According to the play’s synopsis, characters Jack, Stephanie, Joseph and Stevie are “four lost souls ... searching for meaning”. Perry describes it as a “dark play”. “There’s a lot of swearing involved. British audiences seem to enjoy that. It appeals to sort of the ‘Friends’ generation, (in their) 30s and 40s,” he said. “These people are at positions in their lives where generally most people have it all set out already; they’re married and have kids. None of these characters are (in that position), so they feel a certain amount of pressure to have that in their lives.”

Since “Friends” wrapped up in 2004 after 10 hugely successful years, Perry has taken roles in films such as “17 Again” and starred in television shows “The Good Wife” and “The Odd Couple”. “I hope people like the play. People have liked it so far,” he said. “And I hope I’m good in it, so that’s all I can really do.” “The End of Longing” runs at London’s Playhouse Theatre until May 14.