Recreating the magic and chaos of the beloved 1968 film starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, Neil Simon’s classic comedy The Odd Couple will be presented at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in a limited season from 17 October 2015.
Felix Ungar, a neurotic new writer is thrown out by his wife, and moves in with his friend Oscar Madison, a slovenly sportswriter. Despite Oscar’s problems – careless spending, excessive gambling, a poorly kept house filled with spoiled food – he seems to enjoy life.
Felix, however, seems utterly incapable of enjoying anything and only finds purpose in pointing out his own and other people’s mistakes and foibles. Even when he tries to do so in a gentle and constructive way, his corrections and suggestions prove extremely annoying to those around him. Oscar, his closest friend, feels compelled to throw him out after only a brief time together, though he quickly realises that Felix has had a positive effect on him.
This new production is brought to life by director Wesley Enoch in what will be the final show he anchors as Artistic Director of the QTC before he departs for the Sydney Festival.
“It seems fitting that The Odd Couple is the final show of my artistic directorship as it was one of the first shows I wanted to program back in 2010,” says Enoch. “There was something about the representation of men on the cusp of a new-found bachelorhood that seemed to resonate in the modern world.”
“The redefining and exploration of masculinity articulated in this play is both dated and modern. The modern hipster rediscovery of poker playing, cigars and man caves could be taken straight from the pages of this Neil Simon classic. It is a play that spans time and reminds us of some male archetypes.”
Acting and directing powerhouse Jason Klarwein will reunite with Tama Matheson after their brilliant coupling in the 2013 production, Design For Living and their work in Michael Attenborough’s chilling reimagining of Macbeth. Klarwein will play the role of slovenly sports journalist Oscar and Matheson, Felix.
They are joined onstage by Tim Dashwood (Managing Carmen), Amy Ingram (The Seagull, I Want to Know What Love Is, Trollop), Lauren Jackson (Macbeth), Bryan Probets (Design for Living), Steven Rooke (Gasp, Kelly, Macbeth) and Colin Smith (Black Diggers).
American playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon is widely regarded as one of the most successful, prolific and performed playwrights in the world. In addition to The Odd Couple, his plays and musicals include Come Blow Your Horn, Little Me, Barefoot in the Park, Sweet Charity, Promises, Promises, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Gingerbread Lady, The Sunshine Boys, California Suite, They’re Playing Our Song, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Broadway Bound, Rumors, Lost In Yonkers, The Goodbye Girl, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, London Suite, The Dinner Party, 45 Seconds from Broadway, and Oscar and Felix.
Neil Simon has received more Academy and Tony nominations than any other writer. Awards he has received include the Pulitzer Prize for Lost In Yonkers, Emmy Awards for The Sid Caesar Show and The Phil Silvers Show, Tony Awards for The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues, Lost In Yonkers and a special Tony Award For Overall Contribution To The Theatre. Other Awards include: a Kennedy Center Honors, a UCLA Medal, a Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award and a William Inge Theatre Festival award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre.
Director: Wesley Enoch Featuring: Tim Dashwood, Amy Ingram, Lauren Jackson, Jason Klarwein, Tama Matheson, Bryan Probets, Steven Rooke, Colin Smith Designer: Christina Smith Lighting Designer: Matt Scott Sound Designer: Tony Brumpton Assistant Lighting Designer: Daniel Anderson Voice and Accent Consultant: Melissa Agnew Stage Manager: Eloise Grace Assistant Stage Manager: Margaret Burrows
The Odd Couple
Playhouse – Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Cultural Precinct, Southbank
Season: 17 October – 8 November 2015 (previews: October)
Bookings: or online at: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au
For more information, visit: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Tama Matheson and Jason Klarwein – photo by Aaron Tait