The Westerner

Sex and laughs in the city

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Source: Lee Oliver

Kelly Stevenson and Sally Adkins fill the lead roles of mismatched roommates in the female version of Neil Simon’s "The Odd Couple".

Kelly Stevenson and Sally Adkins fill the lead roles of mismatched roommates in the female version of Neil Simon’s "The Odd Couple".

A Strathpine-based theatre group is presenting a comedy classic with a gender twist for its first production of the year.

Act 1 Theatre is currently presenting the female version of the Neil Simon play The Odd Couple.

Instead of Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison, characters later popularised in television and movie versions by Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, the female version of The Odd Couple features Florence Unger and Olive Madison.

The Odd Couple director Trevor Howden believes Simon’s female version of the play, set in the 1980s, is superior to the original story, which debuted on Broadway in 1965 and starred Matthau and Art Carney.

“It’s a very good play and I think it’s a better play than the male version,” Howden said. 

“When Simon wrote the male version he was still pretty green as a playwright, but when he wrote the female version he’d learnt more so it’s a better play.

“It’s basically the same characters, the same plot, the same storyline, but from a different point of view. 

“I think women can be more emotional and more intense and more real. The script is pure gold.”

Warner’s Sally Adkins and Strathpine’s Kelly Stevenson star in the lead roles of mismatched roommates living together in New York City.

Howden, whose last directorial duty for Act 1 Theatre was with The Opposite Sex two years ago, said he “couldn’t be happier” with The Odd Couple’s two main cast members.

“I’m very fortunate to say I have two great female leads and a great supporting cast,” he said.

“I can honesty say that the cast will make me look good.

“I could not be happier with this play than I am with it.”

Howden said his career in community theatre had come full circle with The Odd Couple.

“I have history with this play, because I first stepped on a stage in it in 1998 on the south side of town with the Sunnybank Repertory,” he said.

“It was only a small role but it was a great role to learn with, and to hear the audience laughing every night was just beautiful.

“I’m very lucky that the company (Act 1) has given me this chance to complete the circle and bring this great play to an audience.”

The Odd Couple is on at Act 1 Theatre, corner of Gympie Road and Hall Street, Strathpine on 23-25 and 30-31 March.

Tickets cost $18 for adults, $15 for concessions and $10 for Act 1 members and under 15s, and are available by phoning 5428 1818 or online at

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