Art imitates duo’s lives
A contemporary classic takes on a new twist for Javeenbah Theatre’s new show, writes
HE two leading ladies of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple Female Version have found they have a lot more in common with their characters than first thought.
Simon has revised and updated his popular hit and shows audiences what happens when two friends with decidedly different takes on life are thrown together.
The hilarious but touching story follows uptight and recently separated Florence as she moves in with self-confessed slob Olive.
Virginia Leaver, who plays neatfreak Florence, says the role of Flo is her to a tee.
‘‘I am scarily similar to my character,’’ she says.
‘‘I am the person in the department stores who hangs the clothes that have fallen off the racks back on to their hangers. I can’t help myself.
‘‘Living with Florence would be hell for poor Olive but it’s a very funny play and I can relate to my character and see that she means well.’’
Marie Dickson, who plays slovenly Olive, says she can relate to both women.
‘‘I am a little bit of both, but am more like my character Olive,’’ she says.
‘‘While I wouldn’t describe myself as a slob, I certainly like to relax when I’m at home and am quite laidback.
‘‘But on the other hand, I’m very punctual and Olive most definitely is not, so that’s where we differ.
‘‘Everyone in the audience will either be a Flo or an Olive, or maybe a bit of both.’’
With the script flipped to star ladies instead of gentlemen, director Jim Dickson is thrilled to bring this unique but classic comedy to Javeenbah.
‘‘In the original script, the characters were male but Neil Simon re-wrote the play with females as the leads,’’ he says.
‘‘Fans of the original play will appreciate the style of humour and those who haven’t seen either are in for a real treat. It’s a great show with lots of laughs but also some touching moments.’’ opens at Javeenbah Theatre tomorrow and plays Thursdays to Saturdays at 8pm until July 28 with a 2pm matinee on Sunday.
(From left) Virginia Leaver, as Florence, and Marie Dickson, as Olive, in Javeenbah Theatre’s new show