ALMOST 50 years after it opened on Broadway, legendary show ‘The Odd Couple’ will bring comedy gold to audiences in Newtownabbey with Theatre at The Mill’s own production of the hit play taking the stage from Wednesday, October 17 to Saturday, October 27.
When the Tony Award winning play first premiered in the 1960s, the plotline around two middle-aged divorced men was uncommon, especially for the basis of a comedy. Fifty years on, playwright Neil Simon probably never imagined that 21st century audiences would still find it funny, with the show being as relevant in today’s modern day society.
Director Guy Masterson says: “Societal roles haven’t changed much at all. Of course there are more women working now but men still have the duty of supporting their wives and children whether they are together or separated.”
He continued “Young people can also relate to the show. They will understand the friendship aspects and what it’s like to live with friends and how that can affect relationships. Anyone can relate to having that one friend you can’t stop laughing with but also love to hate.”
The Odd Couple is a prime example of this and follows Felix and Oscar, two friends who decide to move in together after splitting up with their wives. The desperately miss-matched pair skip the honeymoon stage and go straight to bickering, fighting and getting on each other’s nerves. Within their spouse-like irritation of each other is where the audience will find timeless and hilarious entertainment.
The show has come a long way since it premiered on Broadway. It has been staged over 600 times and inspired a movie and a sitcom on its way.
The award winning director and starring actor of this latest production, Guy Masterson, who has picked up many awards in his time, including an Olivier Award for his production of Morecambe, is determined that the Theatre at The Mill production will stick closely to the original Broadway show.
“The production will be the play in its true beauty, no changes and not modernised because it doesn’t need to be.
“Although set in New York the show has a strong ‘Made in Belfast’ feel with many of its cast being Belfast born and bred, which should bring something different to the production. The show will also star Belfast award winning actor Marty Maguire as Felix Ungar, the neurotic, neat-freak of the comic duo,” Guy added.
Other Belfast actors in the production include Nuala McKeever, Paddy Jenkins and Clare O’Connor.
Tickets for The Odd Couple are priced from £14 and are available online at www.theatreatthemill.com or from the box office on 9034 0202.