The former Friends star wrote The End of Longing, and stars as an alcoholic named Jack in the production, which centres on four troubled characters, including a prostitute, a simpleton, and a neurotic.

The script has been mauled by reviewers, who have scorned the production for its "flimsy" plot, lack of depth, and cliched characters, following its opening at the Playhouse Theatre.

Dominic Cavendish for Britain's Daily Telegraph gives the show two stars out of five and rules the script "lacks the dramatic merit" to be on the West End, writing, "His devotees might make this a hit but there's little disguising the fact that it is essentially a dud... It all feels like a curious waste of time, money and effort - and I'm sure I won't be the only one watching this rickety star vehicle who's left longing for the end."

Michael Billington from Britain's The Guardian newspaper also awards two stars and adds, "(Perry) is certainly a beguiling presence and generously gives his character most of the play's best lines... But good lines alone don't make a play and not even Perry's laidback, Jack Nicholson-style delivery can lend depth to a professional drunk... it feels more like an extended sitcom in which there is little going on behind the lines."

Holly Williams from Britain's The Independent echoes their remarks, calling the play "a woeful attempt at a dark-but-redemptive romcom". She praises Perry's strong performance and writing when he touches on his own experiences of addiction, but calls him "curiously flat and stiff" for most of the play.

She adds, "It's just a shame about the rest of the script. There's so little believable connection or tenderness between these friends and lovers, and their characters have about as much depth as a puddle in a heatwave."

Quentin Letts from Britain's Daily Mail was more favourable, giving three stars out of five and calling the production "well acted and thoroughly watchable," but also adds, "There are cliches of mannerism and idiom, and the whole thing may feel shallow... self-indulgent and unintellectual; but is that not the world Mr Perry is depicting?"

The End of Longing runs until 14 May (16).