The Odd Couple
Sylie Carole Goodwin
Mickey Eleanor Lyon
Renee Geraldine Maloney Judge
Vera Christine Anyon
Olive Julie Khayati
Florence Bethay D'Avincourt
Manolo Andrew Culshaw
Jesus Gordon Wallis
Wednesday 25 - Saturday 28 May 2016
'The Odd Couple' is set in New York in the mid nineteen-eighties. Olive, Florence, Vera, Renee, Sylvie and Mickey meet on Friday evenings to play Trivial Pursuits. Florence is late this week and when she eventually arrives she announces that her husband has thrown her out. Olive invites her to move in with her. Unfortunately they are like chalk and cheese. Whereas Florence likes neatness, cleanliness and gourmet cuisine, Olive likes untidiness and take-away meals; she is, no other word for it, a slob! They cannot co-exist!
To the rescue come two Spanish brothers who live in the apartment above.
This is Neil Simon at his wittiest with brilliant comic dialogue and stagecraft. Be prepared to laugh throughout the performance.
Review from our NODA (National Operatic and Drama Association) representative.
Words fail me; I can only say how do Neston Players do it time after time? This 'female' version of the Odd Couple did more than justice to Neil Simon's brilliant comedy.
Cliff Inns in his programme notes said "I seem to choose comedy because I enjoy the challenge of making people laugh." He and Marnie more than met that challenge. Some might say well look at the script they had but what do they know? The skill lies in getting your players to deliver those lines without falling over the scenery. Congratulations Cliff and your Co-Director Marnie Clark - you certainly managed it.
Of course he had a magnificent cast all of which helps. I wondered if Julie Khayati could repeat her Noda nominated role in "Enchanted April" but Julie would not let me down and she didn't. As Olive she was on stage most of the play but didn't seem to miss a line and as for her facial expressions well! Tremendous!
The latter was true of the rest of the ladies in the "Trivial Pursuit" group as well. Their characterisations were crisp and wonderfully different. Eleanor Lyon (Mickey) so right, Chrissy Anyon delightfully dumb, Renee (Geraldine Maloney Judge) knockout and Sylvie (Carole Goodwin) Joanna Lumley will never be forgotten while this girl lives. It would have been extremely difficult to find 5 better ladies to fulfill these parts to deliver their lives so well and find those wonderful facial expressions. What of the other half of the odd couple? Florence (Bethany D'Avincourt) the very antithesis of Olive. So different from the other girls, like Olive she absolutely stormed this part. Great. It isn't often that one sees so may tour de force performances but all the ladies deserved this accolade.
What no men? Of course there were and superb both of them. Very funny indeed and not just the hair. Andrew Culshaw and Gordon Wallis, stand up and take a bow - you deserved it.
The backstage team must come in for some compliments as well. It was a great set with good lighting and costume, make up and stage management team. All of which came no doubt from the guiding hand of production co-ordinator Kerry Quayle. Let's not forget the refreshment girls, two of my favourite ladies. Great show from everybody concerned; no less than I have come to expect from Neston Players. Budge.