The King's Town Players take on The Odd Couple, Female Version

The Odd Couple lights up audiences at the Kingston Yacht Club

The Odd Couple, Female Version opened on Jan 23 at the Kingston Yacht Club.
Credit: 
Play poster

With its raunchy comedy and themes of dysfunctional friendship, The Odd Couple, Female Version delights audience. 

The King’s Town Players’ own production of The Odd Couple opened at the Kingston Yacht Club on Jan. 23,and will be playing every weekend until Feb. 8.

The Odd Couple, Female Version tells the story of two unlikely roommates: the incredibly messy Olive and the obsessively neat Florence. When Florence’s husband leaves her, she finds herself left without purpose and with no place to go. She moves in with Olive, despite their different personalities. The majority of the play is about them trying to live together in peace.

The Odd Couple, written by Neil Simon, is based on the iconic 70s TV show of the same name with two male leads. It became a Broadway play and then a movie, and was later adapted to center around two divorced women instead.

This gender reversal made for a lot of sexual innuendo, as the group of 30-something-year-old women spent much of the play lusting after, and cracking jokes about various men. The audience ate it up.

The Odd Couple is clearly directed toward an older audience, with much of its humour revolving around the difficulties of marriage and living with another person.

Susan Del-Mei, who played Olive, gave an especially strong performance. She was believable and brought life to her character.

“We could feel the energy. Everybody was just zinging,” Del-Mei said in an interview.

The actors’ joke delivery was key to the comedy’s success—it was evident that everyone on stage was a seasoned actor. There was a skillful rhythm to the way they delivered their lines.

Alex Boese, who played Florence, filled the time between her lines by passive-aggressively cleaning. It was not only representative of her character and a source of light comedy, but it also helped to sell the character’s personality.

Patty Halligan, the play’s set dresser, did well to bring The Odd Couple to life.

The play opened on Olive’s messy apartment, a colourful place packed full with garbage. Everything in her apartment was in disarray, from an umbrella stored in the leaves of a large fern to the broken candlestick on the mantle. Even Olive's shoelaces were untied.

The King’s Town Players used a thrust stage for the performance, surrounded on three sides by rows of chairs. The audience was so close to the actors that it felt as though we were part of the play. 

“Typically, when you see a show, you’re an audience outside of the set. We just thought, let’s bring them into the apartment so you’re actually experiencing it. It’s a way to engage you a bit more,” set designer Chris McKinnon said.

 Overall, The Odd Couple, Female Version was funny, engaging, and convincingly delivered. It featured solid performances and a keen attention to detail.

 “Ultimately, it’s a big show about friendship. Though we may get on our friends’ nerves, or they may aggravate us, ultimately, they help us learn about ourselves. Good friends stick around for each other,” McKinnon said.

 

 

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