Full casting has been announced for Ian Hallard’s new Abba-inspired comedy The Way Old Friends Do, directed by Mark Gatiss, which tours in 2023.

As well as being the writer, Hallard will star alongside Donna Berlin, James Bradshaw, Sara Crowe, Andrew Horton and Rose Shalloo. They will be understudied by Anton Tweedale, Toby Holloway and Tariye Peterside.

The show, presented by James Seabright and Birmingham Rep, will also feature the pre-recorded voices of Miriam Margolyes and Paul O’Grady.

It will premiere at Birmingham Rep from 17 February to 4 March before touring to Sheffield Lyceum from 7 to 11 March, Park Theatre in London from 15 March to 15 April, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford from 17 to 22 April, Northcott Theatre Exeter from 24 to 29 April, Theatre Royal Brighton from 2 to 6 May, Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre from 9 to 13 May, Oxford Playhouse from 15 to 20 May, The Lowry in Salford from 22 to 27 May, Theatre Royal Bath from 30 May to 3 June and Theatre Royal York from 6 to 10 June.

With Gatiss directing, the creative team will include set and costume designer Janet Bird, lighting designer Andrew Exeter, sound designer Ben Harrison and assistant director Gavin Joseph along with casting director Marc Frankum.

In 1988, two school friends tentatively come out to one another: one as gay, the other – more shockingly – as an Abba fan. Nearly 30 years later, a chance meeting sets the pair – played by Hallard and Bradshaw – on a brand-new path and they decide to form the world’s first Abba tribute band in drag. But can their friendship survive the tribulations of a life on the road which includes platform boots, fake beards and a distractingly attractive stranger?