We sang the Pheobe classics in Central Perk at Friends Fest Cardiff 2017
We stepped on set of history's most iconic TV show
Comedy Central is hosting FriendsFest for the third year running, where the set of history’s most iconic TV show tours the UK for fans to get up close and personal with the famous locations in the fictitious New York setting. I had the chance to go down to the Cardiff date and roam around the character’s apartments to get a hands on approach of my favourite TV show.
The event was set up in a field, which surrounded a big stage with numerous deck chairs placed in front where a screen was showing clips from the 236 shows that fans could watch and reminisce over. There were various tents with different set pieces you could get photo ops, such as the main title sequence, the chapel doors from Vegas and a high school prom booth from Monica and Rachel’s prom video.
There were numerous places to go for food, such as Monica’s Moondance Diner (from ‘The One With The Two Parties’), a sandwich bar named ‘MY SANDWICH!’ (from ‘The One With Ross’ Sandwich’) and The Chick and The Duck Bar (homage to the two poultry friends that Joey and Chandler owned). The cuisine was based on classic New Yorker food, such as hot dogs, fries and sandwiches which really added to the American vibes.
The most exciting part was the set tour, home of the two apartments that so many scenes were filmed in. At the beginning of the set tour, you are in a dark room which holds different props and costumes from the ten season show – from Joey’s Dr Drake Ramoray costume and Soapie Award to the Holiday Armadillo outfit and Rachel’s 18 page letter to Ross, there was a lot to see that came right from the home of Warner Brother’s in Los Angeles.
You were then taken for 10-minute slots in each apartment, where you began in Joey and Chandler’s and got to wander around, take photos and nose around, before coming off set to get photos of the empty room and heading into Monica’s apartment to do the same thing. The attention to detail was incredible, making you feel like you really were in the homes of the famous characters.
Our final stop was an open visit to Central Perk, where you could get your photo on the iconic orange sofa and behind the counter where Rachel and Gunther were so commonly seen working. Every so often, a member of the crew came out to sing some of Pheobe’s classic songs heard on the series, including ‘The Christmas Song’, ‘Sticky Shoes’ and of course, the favourite ‘Smelly Cat’. An extension was added onto the world famous fictional cafe where you could order beverages which were given to you in a takeaway cup that had a sleeve which had the Central Perk logo. This was perhaps the busiest part of the venue due to poor weather and was practically on par with the Starbucks chain in regards to popularity.
Of course, going to an exhibition of such a popular show, you’ll want to take something home with you, which is where the official merchandise store came into play. From t-shirts, hoodies, aprons, to magnets, phone cases and posters, there was a good selection of souvenirs to choose from. I picked up a Central Perk t-shirt along with a bar of Mockolate (from ‘The One With The List) – which actually didn’t taste as bad as it was made out to be in the episode.
The event was so fun and even when the rain started to fall (sorry not sorry for the reference), the event still took place and had high spirits throughout the day.
I had an incredible time and was so excited to be in a place that paid tribute to my favourite show.
The FriendsFest Tour is on all summer with tickets still available.