Art im­i­tates duo’s lives

A con­tem­po­rary clas­sic takes on a new twist for Javeen­bah The­atre’s new show, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

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

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