Thursday 5th November
Photograph by Joseph Byford Photography
'THE ODD COUPLE' I may not have been to New York and I may not have much in common with the characters in this 50 year old play, but it was hystercally funny. What made it so great was watching some of my favourite actors (boys and girls) absolutely firing lightning speed off each other in one of the tightest and funniest ensemble pieces I have had the pleasure to see.
There are of course the leads Oscar and Felix played by the slobbed up Jason Klarwein and traumatised anally retentive Tama Matheson. The magic these two create on stage together is well known and last night it was genuine marriage of two actors bouncing off each other in tenderness, endless frustration and energetic fun until there is growth and resolution. They have a bunch of long term friends who are so individually unique, distinct and drawn with brilliant precision.
Colin Smith as Murray whom I finally had the chance to meet after with an amazing NY cop (or taxi driver i thought) accent, Tim Dashwood who was the neurotic, nervous worrier Roy, Bryan Probets the cooperative and ever grateful friend Vinnie and Steven Rooke as the realistic tough Speed. Each were so strong and watching the timing of the interactions and the clarity of the accented diction was quite mesmerising. It really is good to go to a play where all is heard and even the snippents of Opera on Felix's records were so carefully chosen to comment on the action, like 'La Donna e Mobile' or 'The Woman is Fickle'.
Photography by Rob Maccoll
I was told the addition of the two English sisters Amy Ingram (Cecily) and Lauren Jackson (Gwendolyn) was the master stroke that Neil Simon needed to make this a success and then a classic. Do I hear 'The Importance Of Being Ernest' anyone? Of course we all know that it was the last production directed by our dearest Wesley Enoch who flew back and attended the Meet the Artists night so it was a great Q&A that went far longer than the time allotted with a particular discussion on the word 'Creatives'. Speaking of off stage artists Daniel Anderson as assistant Lighting Designer was the only one I have met on previous occasions. Everyone wanted to just keep talking, laughing and arguing. I met the new Programming Manager as well last night and when I go to the Briefing for 'Ladies in Black' next Monday I hope to meet the new Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company Sam Strong.