The Ambler

Amble's Community Newspaper: News & events from Amble in Northumberland – The Kindliest Port.

Local drama – The Odd Couple

Colin Heathcote as Oscar Madison and John Sellers as Felix Ungar

Final rehearsals are currently taking place for Warkworth Drama Group’s spring production, ‘The Odd Couple’.

Set in a down-town New York City apartment, Neil Simon’s mid-1960s play – later made into a successful film featuring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau – centres on the short but highly eventful and chaotic co-habitation of two distinctly different characters.

Felix Ungar is a neurotic self-pitying whiner whose wife has kicked him out and Oscar Madison is the care-free idle slob who foolishly offers him a roof over his head. Tension creeps into the atmosphere as Felix tries to introduce his fastidious house cleaning and catering regime into Oscar’s highly disorganised and slovenly existence.

Incongruously Simon introduces two English girls, Gwendolyn and Cecily, as the love interests and, inevitably, more tensions rise as Oscar fights to get Felix to become more romantically pro-active.

Inevitably tempers flare and accusations are thrown as it dawns on the two central characters that they are temperamentally unsuited to each other.

What they do share, however, is a love of poker and, with the regular Friday night pals Speed, Roy, Murray and Vinnie, the games provide an essential backdrop to the play’s sideways glance at modern middle-aged male bonding in downtown New York.

The three-act play, like Simon’s many other multi-award winning comedic creations such as Plaza Suite, The Sunshine Boys and Barefoot in the Park, is both witty and sharply observed.

Directed by Ralph Firth, performances of ‘The Odd Couple’ will take place on April 14, 15 and 16 at 7.30pm in The Memorial Hall, Warkworth. It begins at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced £6, are on sale at N&F Young, Amble.

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