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19 December 2012


The Odd Couple
Old Court Theatre, Chelmsford
Wednesday 19th December 2012
The Odd Couple explores the relationship between slobby layabout Oscar and his exacting, uptight roommate Felix.  Achieving notoriety in both a film and TV series, the characters in this play are sad and tragically recognisable, but through well developed caricature their mismatched personalities are explored in a fast-paced and witty comedy script. 
Set entirely in the flat shared by the two divorcees, the piece begins during Oscar's weekly poker night.  There were some hard-working attempts at the differentiation of the various characters round the card table, pulled off especially well by Barry Taylor as Speed, but the necessary pace of these scenes was too often missing and there were some laughs that were not as well exploited as they could have been, if not lost entirely.  This lack of pace or comic timing, though a shame, was not true of the entire piece, for as soon as the duologues began between Dave Hawkes and Kevin Stemp as Oscar and Felix respectively, all else was forgotten.  Slick, energetic and timed to perfection, this comedy partnership could not have been better executed.  The British Pigeon girls, played by Naomi Phillips and Vikki Pead, were well performed and created an ideal focus for the central pair to fail to seduce. 
A worthy production to end the year that although not complete in it's accomplishments, where it did succeed, it triumphed. 

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