What happens when two mismatched friends are put under the pressure of living with each other? Neil Simon came up with a stroke of comedy genius when he put the fastidious and slightly neurotic Felix Unger into the same apartment as the perennial slob, Oscar Madison.
The result was the masterful Simon comedy, The Odd Couple, which comes to King Street Theatre in its classic incarnation. Audiences can expect to step off King Street, walk up some dimly lit stairs and directly into Oscar Madison’s New York apartment.
“We are not deviating at all from Simon’s original version, that has stood the test of time,” says Calib James, who plays Felix. “It really is old-fashioned, clean-hearted comedy – very well-written and very, very funny”.
James, who takes his inspiration from Tony Randall’s interpretation of Felix Unger, is a bigger fan of the (original) TV series than the film. “While the film had some darker moments, the TV series was a lot lighter and we are certainly going for the lighter style of comedy,” says James.
In a day and age dominated by reality TV, James sees plenty of attraction in an older style American comedy: “You just sit down, and without thinking too much, just watch the antics of these two great characters and the silly shenanigans between them.”
Until August 1 (Tues – Sat). King Street Theatre, Level 1/644 King Street, Newtown. $30-35. Tickets: 0423 082 015.