The Odd Couple review at Mill at Sonning
Four decades have passed since Neil Simon's comedy hit Broadway and spawned a never to be forgotten film starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon, and in spite of changing attitudes, it remains a reflection of human nature at its most hilarious.
Terence Booth as Oscar and Martyn Stanbridge as Felix are outstanding as the reluctant flatmates thrown together because of their failed marriages. Oscar, comfortable and untidy with his poker-playing friends, could never be described as house proud, whereas Felix is into tidying up, cleaning and cooking - a recipe for disaster, as is soon proved.
Glyn Kerslake, Chris Vincent, Tom Bevan and Jeff Mash are the Friday night regulars for poker, astonished at being given table napkins for their mid-evening snack. This being New York City, the accents are beyond reproach, although Mash is the sole American in the cast.
Susan Skipper and Carla de Wansey are the delightfully coy sisters from the upstairs apartment, invited to dinner, resulting in more domestic upheaval for their hosts, as Felix and the girls are brought to tears when his roast beef is burnt to a cinder. Stanbridge has the ability to move an audience by his very demeanour when declining to accompany Oscar and their guests upstairs, changing his mind the next day when he decides to move in with the sisters.
The genius of playwright Neil Simon, combined with superb casting and superb direction by Anthony Valentine, ensures this is a production to be savoured.
Mill at Sonning, July 15-August 22
- Neil Simon
- Anthony Valentine
- Mill, Sonning
- Terence Booth, Martyn Stanbridge, Susan Skipper, Carla de Wansey, Glyn Kerslake, Chris Vincent, Jeff Mash, Tom Bevan
- Running time
- 2hrs 10mins