10 - 19 March 2005
A remake of Neil Simon's long running Broadway comedy, the play centres around two divorced woman who live together but can't stand each others habits. Simon himself updated the script in the mid '80s to this all female version of The Odd Couple,
The famous update of this contemporary classic starts with a group of women friends playing their regular game of Trivial Pursuit. This week, the coterie is meeting at the apartment of Olive Madison, a divorcee who freely admits to being a slob: "i leave a- mess when i read a book." Late to arrive is Florence Linger, a stickler for detail who would try the patience of a saint and who has unfortunately just become separated from her husband, As life would have it, the slob and the fuss-bucket decide to room together with hilarious results!
The patterns of Olive and Florence's disastrous marriages begin to reappear in their new "friends as flatmates'arrangement and so this, too, must end — but not before the eight female performers take you on a comic romp which will leave you in stitches from their crazy antics.
The most performed playwright of all time after Shakespeare and undoubtedly the most commercially successful playwright in history, Neil Simon has had 30 of his plays performed on Broadway and is the only playwright ever to have had four Broadway productions running concurrently.
Neil Simon's gender-switch re-write, which premiered on Broadway in 1985 (20 years after the original), outclasses the old script in many ways.
Simon has more fully developed the characters of the mismatched pair, while retaining the key to the play's humour, The original roommates blame themselves for single-handedly breaking up their marriages and are fully aware of how they did so, but do absolutely nothing to change until the final scene. The female version provides a more balanced portrayal of two strong women with reasons for how they act. Whereas Oscar simply describes his sloppiness, Olive justifies hers: "My mind is into other things," Their former spouses were not perfect, either. "I'm married to a five foot three inch man with an oversized toupee and boots up to his knees who walks around saying 'Da'," Florence cries, "and he walks out on ME???"
"I like writing about women very much," Simon said in an interview the same year the female version opened. "Men are more closemouthed about their real feelings whereas women, if the situation is right, open up." (The New York Times Magazine. May 26. 1985.)
Olive Madison - Michelle Luke
Florence Unger - Andrea Lundy
Sylvie - Christine Taylor-Hausman
Mickey - Alix Lattey
Renee - Rochelle Rowland
Vera - Rachael Penman
Manolo Costazuela - Henrique Beirao
Jesus Costazuela - Jaime Dorner