The Best of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple – A Hilarious and Heartwarming Classic Reimagined in Melbourne

 

Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre came alive on May 23 with the opening of The Odd Couple, a timeless comedy that continues to charm audiences. Starring Shane Jacobson and Todd McKenney as the iconic duo Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar, this production is a must-see for anyone who loves a good laugh.

A genuine Broadway classic, the acclaimed 1965 comedy not only inspired a Hollywood movie but also a beloved television series. A testament to Simon’s brilliant writing, from Broadway to the big screen, and now to the Australian stage, this story of friendship, divorce, and misunderstandings remains as relevant and entertaining as ever.

The Odd Couple tells the story of two suddenly single pals who decide to room together, only to find that their contrasting personalities create more chaos than comfort. Shane Jacobson shines as the slovenly, cigar-smoking sportswriter Oscar Madison, while Todd McKenney delivers a stellar performance as the neurotic, hyper-allergic Felix Ungar. The chemistry between Jacobson and McKenney is electric, their natural comedic instincts perfectly complementing each other. Their interactions are a brilliant showcase of contrast, making every scene they share a delightful blend of humor and heart.

The supporting cast adds to the hilarity, with John Batchelor, Laurence Coy, Jamie Oxenbould, and Anthony Taufa playing Oscar’s poker-loving friends. Their interactions provide a seamless flow of comedic moments, capturing the essence of a close-knit yet quirky group of friends.

Lucy Durack and Penny McNamee almost steal the show as the Pigeon sisters, Cecily and Gwendolyn. Their giggly interactions and synchronized “ta-ta”s are highlights of the performance, infusing the play with a delightful charm that keeps the audience in stitches. The pair’s comic timing and chemistry are impeccable, adding layers of humour to the already hilarious script.

The set design is another standout aspect of this production. The richly detailed 1960s upper-class New York City apartment transports viewers back in time, with every prop meticulously thought out to enhance the authenticity of the setting. This attention to detail immerses the audience in the world of Felix and Oscar, making the absurdity of their situation even more enjoyable.

This Australian stage production of The Odd Couple stays true to the original play by Neil Simon, a Tony Award-winning comedy that has seen numerous adaptations over the years. 

Director Mark Kilmurry has done a remarkable job of bringing this classic tale to life, balancing the humour and heart of Simon’s script with a fresh, contemporary energy. The result is a production that feels both timeless and timely, appealing to both longtime fans of the play and new audiences alike.

In summary, The Odd Couple at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre is a delightful romp that blends classic comedy with outstanding performances. Shane Jacobson and Todd McKenney lead a stellar cast in a production that promises to leave audiences laughing and reflecting on the nature of friendship and the quirks that make us all human. Don’t miss this chance to see one of the most famous mismatched duos in comedy history brought to life with such flair and fun.

For more information or to book tickets, visit: The Odd Couple

Written by: Michael Kent

Images by: Pia Johnson