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The Greville Theatre Company

The Barn Theatre, Little Easton Manor

The 'Female' Odd Couple

by Neil Simon

Cast

MICKEY:
Carol Parradine

SYLVIE:
Marcia Baldry-Bryan

RENEE:
Lynda Shelverton

VERA:
Judy Lee

OLIVE MADISON:
Jan Ford

FLORENCE UNGER:
Rita Vango

MANOLO COSTAZUELA:
Rodney Foster

JESUS COSTAZUELA:
John Richardson

The Greville Theatre performance of The Odd Couple

Directed by Diana Bradley

This play is a female adaptation by NEIL SIMON of his own hit play and film The Odd Couple.

In it we see easy-going divorcée Olive Madison take in a neurotic and recently separated Florence Unger. Their chalk and cheese relationship is a comedy treasure trove, culminating in a hilarious and doomed dinner date with the Spanish brothers living upstairs.

This is a thoroughly endearing tale of the triumph of female friendship over male folly.


"Superbly crafted... revived with style and enthusiasm"

Michael Gray


"An entertaining production, timelessly witty"

Braintree & Witham Times

Michael Gray's Arts Blog

Greville Theatre Club at the Barn Theatre, Little Easton - 30/10/10

No poker for these Golden Girls, but hard-fought games of Trivial Pursuit. There's Mickey the cop [a no-nonsense Carol Parradine] and Vera [“the oldest known vegetable in the world”, played with a nice line in puzzled pathos by Judy Lee], Sylvie [Marcia Baldry] and Renee [Lynda Shelverton].

They meet in Olive's flat – not the neatest in New York – and suffer her warm cola and her Dead Sea Scroll sandwiches. At Greville she's played, in all her endearing sloppiness and her NJ83 sweatshirt, by Jan Ford. Wisecracking, with every line timed to a tee, but caring too: she happily offers a home to her friend Flo, who's about to be divorced from the unseen Sydney.

They're chalk and cheese – the obsessively houseproud room-mate soon exasperates Olive with her “cooking, cleaning and crying”. A pretty near perfect performance here from Rita Vango, the accent, the body language, and of course the characterization and the comedy timing.

These two troupers were a great team, sparking off each other and clearly comfortable in each other's company. The wordless start to the final scene just one example of the stage chemistry that had our table in tears of laughter.

The centre piece of the Second Act, the deliciously difficult dinner date, featured an even odder couple, the Costazuela brothers from the flat upstairs, replacing the Pigeon sisters of the original. They too wrung all the laughs from their slightly bizarre dialogue. Rodney Foster was the somewhat slow Manolo, John Richardson a dapper Jesus.

Neil Simon's play is superbly crafted, with old fashioned curtain lines and cracking dialogue. It was revived with style and enthusiasm in Diana Bradley's polished production.