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The Odd Couple - One4Review

There are few shows totally appropriately named, but if you consider the two leading performers you see what I mean. The Odd couple, Bill Bailey, as Oscar Madison the scruffy, devil may care man about town, prevents Alan Davies, as Felix Ungar, from committing suicide little realising he is getting a house mate. His flat is transformed from being the ideal tip of a bachelor-pad to a pristine show house in a matter of weeks, reflecting the contrasts in characters extremely well. The show is in four small segments, the opening scene introduces Oscar and four of the usual card playing reprobates, Ian Coppinger as Vinnie, Dave Johns as as Murray, Phil Nichol as Speed and Owen O’Neill as Roy, surrounded by filth with a fridge and air conditioning that doesn’t work they all complain about something. Oscar is strangely worried about the absence of Felix, after all he has previously been locked in a loo for 24 hours. Everyone’s concern is heightened by Felix’s wife phoning to ask if he is there and tell them they are splitting up. Felix appears and they talk him out of committing suicide. After they move in together the other card players complain about the massive changes and promise not to return until some semblance of normality is reached. Oscar invites Cecily and Gwendolyn Pigeon out for a meal in the hope of ….  Felix decides to save money by cooking at home, Katherine Jakeways as Cecily and Lizzie Roper as Gwendolyn actually like Felix and although the meal is an utter disaster, fall for his charms. One comment I heard before seeing the show was that Alan Davies’s hair is just so out of keeping he couldn’t play the part of Felix as there are several references to his hair, however, it is not as out of place as it might seem. The director Guy Masterson is a particular favourite of mine, his name associated with any show is a guarantee of top class quality. Guy works his performers hard, yet asks only of them what he would expect to do himself. Katy Tuxfords set design is interesting and clever, sadly not obvious to about 1/3 of the audience because of the abominable sight lines of the venue. The last two Fringe shows by Assembly Theatre and Marshall Cordell were ’12 Angry Men’ and ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ I cant wait to see what they will bring to Edinburgh in 2006!! **** I thoroughly enjoyed the show but total enjoyment was marred by the poor  sight lines, if it wasn’t by the four giant pillars, it was a bar round the inner area of the stalls and the front rows of the balcony.

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