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The ODD Couple

(Female version)
Neil Simon’s

classic comedy

 

Directed by Judith Boyd

 

 

November – December 2005

 

 

Neil Simon

 

Neil Simon is the world’s most successful playwright. He has had dozens of plays and nearly as many major films produced. He has been showered with more Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer and is the only playwright to have four Broadway productions running simultaneously. His plays have been produced in dozens of languages and have been blockbuster hits from Beijing to Moscow.

 

Born in the Bronx on July 4, 1927, Marvin Neil Simon grew up in Manhattan and for a short time attended New York University and the University of Denver. His most significant writing job came in the early 1950s when he joined the staff of YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, a landmark live television comedy series.  By the 1960s, Simon had begun to concentrate on writing plays for Broadway. His first hit came in 1961 with "Come Blow Your Horn," and was followed soon after by the very successful comic romance "Barefoot in the Park."

 

Simon’s brother, Danny, who also worked on YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, played a major role in his writing. In fact, it was Danny who provided the inspiration for tonight’s play. After his divorce, Danny moved in with another divorced man, and this situation became the set-up for "The Odd Couple" (1966). Though Danny had begun writing the story himself, he reached a block and eventually handed it off to Simon who soon made it a smash on Broadway and which was later adapted for females. By 1973, Simon was a major voice in contemporary comedy. But, that year he entered a low period in his life, when his wife of twenty years, died. Some time later, he met the actress Marsha Mason and they were married. His 1977 play, Chapter Two, dramatises the grief of a newly remarried man trying to start over after his wife has died. Chapter Two was considered one of his finest works.

 

Neil Simon has for almost forty years invigorated the stage with touching stories and zany characters, but possibly his greatest contribution has been the ability to create humour from the lives and troubles of everyday people. Of Simon, actor Jack Lemon said, "Neil has the ability to write characters -- even the leading characters that we’re supposed to root for -- that are absolutely flawed. They have foibles. They have faults. But, they are human beings. They are not all bad or all good; they are people we know."

 

Cast

in order of appearance

Sylvia                                      Jenny Hart

Mickey                                    Kathy Campbell

Renee                                    Miranda Lean

Vera                                       Fiona Churchill

Olive    Madison                     Melissa Chandler

Florence Unger                     Pauline J Mullen

Manolo Costazuela               Greg Seckold

Jesus  Costazuela                Jason Ansell

 

Crew

 Wardrobe                                Julie Sarah

                                                Pauline J Mullen

Lighting/Sound Operator            Eli McMahon

Set and Poster Design              Judith Boyd

Set Construction                        John Knops

                                                Chrisjohn Hancock

Set Painting                              Judith Boyd

                                                Melissa Chandler

                                                Eli McMahon

                                                Jenny Hart

                                                Anna Glanzen

                                                Gosh Waters

Photography                             Craig Edwards

Rehearsal Photos                      Brian Hill

Prompt                                     Jo Dorman

                                                Heather Edwards

F.O.H                                       Colin Simpson

 

 

The Action of the play takes place in the Australian apartment of Olive Madison over a two-week period in February

 

Judith Boyd – Director

Judith joined the Lieder Theatre in September 2001 having moved to the area from Sydney where she has been an active member of the Castle Hill Players for almost twenty-five years and ran the Castle Hill Youth Theatre for much of that time. She was also a drama teacher at The Hills Grammar School and has adjudicated at several country drama festivals in NSW. She attended a part time Drama School in England before moving with her family to Australia in 1978. Judith has been involved in over one hundred plays in one way or another. In more recent years she has directed plays including The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, Twelve Angry Men, Nuts, Agnes of God, Oh What a Lovely War, Toad of Toad Hall, Educating Rita, and has acted in The Homecoming, Blithe Spirit, Bold Girls, Equus, and Don’s Party. Judith attended the writing course at NIDA in 1992, and subsequently had plays performed at NIDA and at the National Playwrights Conference in Canberra. Judith is an active member of the Lieder having directed Once A Catholic in 2002, Sylvia in 2003 and Hating Alison Ashley in 2004. She has run workshops and written for the Lieder Youth Theatre’s 2 Friendly 4 Words and Dead One Done, performed in The Beauty Queen of Leenane and most recently Blithe Spirit, provided administrative support and promotion for productions and operated lights for Pinocchio. At our last AGM Judith handed over the reigns of President of our Board of Management to Brian Hill.

 

Cast

Jason Ansell

Jason was introduced to the stage at Goulburn High School when he performed in Sheerluck Holmes. For the Gilbert and Sullivan Society he performed in The Wizard of Oz and Carousel. He joined the Lieder in 1997 to perform in Dancing at Lughnasa. In 2000 he performed in John Spicer’s production of Dark of the Moon and Antigone directed by Chrisjohn Hancock. In Film and Television Jason has worked as an extra on The Potato Factory, The Three Stooges and Above the Law. We welcome Jason back to the Lieder for his role of Jesus in Judith’s production of Neil Simon’s hilarious comedy The ODD Couple (female version).

 

Kathy Campbell

Kathy was last seen on the Lieder stage this year in Inheritance but has since stage-managed Blithe Spirit directed by Stan Henderson. She joining the Lieder in 1993 to perform in Steel Magnolia and hasn’t stopped working on numerous productions with Chrisjohn Hancock, John Spicer, Judith Boyd and Stan Henderson. Some of her performances include Hating Alison Ashley, Come Back to the five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Old Time Music Hall, Humpty Dumpty, The Curious Savage, Too Many Cooks, Skirmishes, Hotel Sorrento, House on the Cliff, Dinkum Assorted, On the Bridge which toured to the Czech Republic and UK in 1998, Dark of the Moon, The Farndale Murder Mystery, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Dracula, Pinocchio, Once a Catholic and Forks’n All (a feast for peace). Kathy is on the Lieder Board of Management.

 

Melissa Chandler

Melissa joined the Lieder in 2002 to perform in our Christmas pantomime Pinocchio and since then has been involved in nearly every Lieder production since including lighting operator for Sylvia, 2 Friendly 4 Words and The Vagina Monologue. Melissa operated sound for The Beauty Queen of Leenane and assisted backstage for the Youth Theatre Company production in the Lieder Foyer, Ubu. She performed in the rehearsed reading of The Man Who and in our community peace festival at St Saviour’s Forks’ n All (a feast for peace) To top off 2003 Melissa performed in Stan Henderson’s marvellous Christmas production of Old Time Music Hall. In 2004 she stage managed and performed in Away, played some wonderfully crazy characters in Hating Alison Ashley, stage managed Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and operated lights for Dead One Dome and Minefields and Miniskirts before taking time out to become married. This year she operated the sound for the Youth Theatre’s Acrobatic Fire Show for the Blues Festival in February. The Odd Couple marks her re-entry onto the Lieder stage as Mrs Melissa Chandler.

 

Fiona Churchill

Fiona joined the Lieder in 1995 to play in Golden Valley. Since then she has been seen in many productions including the Farndale Murder Mystery, Oliver, Hamlet, Blackrock, Under Milk Wood, Cosi, The Removalists and On the Bridge. In 2002 she performed in Habeas Corpus and in 2003 in Judith Boyd’s canine comedy Sylvia. That year she performed in a rehearsed reading of The Vagina Monologues. Last year Fiona performed in Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and the rehearsed reading Minefields and Miniskirts. She began this year playing in Hannie Rayson’s Inheritance and has since played in Blithe Spirit and our recent foyer production of Fireface. Fiona has worked backstage as a lighting operator and is currently on the Lieder Board of Management coordinating charity nights for the mainstage and our audience development project Follow the Lieder.

 

Jenny Hart

Jenny has been performing with the Lieder since 2003 when she provided many of the highlights in our Christmas production of Old Time Music Hall directed by Stan Henderson. In 2004 she played Vic in our opening production, Away, directed by Chrisjohn Hancock, followed by some unforgettable characters in Judith Boyd’s hilarious production of Hating Alison Ashley. So far this year Jenny has performed in Stan Henderson’s classic Noel Coward comedy Blithe Spirit. She came to Goulburn from Newcastle in 1993 and began performing with the Argyle Society. Her shows there include The Merry Widow, Thanks for the Memory, Sweet Hearts, Trial by Jury, Mikado, A fine Romance, Nothing Like a Dame, Iolanthe, As Time Goes By, Pirates of Penzance, Ruddigore, Di Fledermaus and La Belle Helene. Jenny also performed in the inaugural GRAB Festival (Goulburn Regional Arts Bash) in 1996.

 

Miranda Lean

Miranda has appeared with the Moss Vale Players in the past and more recently with Smart Arts in Mittagong in their 2003 production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice directed by Phil Cunich. Miranda has also performed in a charity performance in Bundanoon of The Bed and Breakfast Murders. As well as acting she enjoys sculpting and has exhibited with galleries in Goulburn, Bowral and Bundanoon. Her first time on the Lieder stage was in last year’s Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean but she is familiar with Goulburn through her work as a Registered Nurse in the district.

 

Pauline J Mullen

Pauline joined the Lieder in 1992 to stage manage Peter Pan and has been an integral part of the Company on and off stage ever since. So far this year Pauline has played in Inheritance and The Ballad of Mary Ann Brownlow and provided essential production and wardrobe support to all the plays and performance events staged by the Company including Exchange and Change the 2nd gathering of Regional youth theatre people. Her performances include roles in Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Minefields and Miniskirts, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Habeas Corpus, The Removalists, La Dispute, Hamlet, Oliver Twist, Wind in the Willows, Dancing at Lughnasa, Under Milk Wood, Blackrock, Gathering the Dust, Dark of the Moon, On the Bridge, The Vagina Monologues, On a Day in Summer in a Garden, Out of the Frying Pan, Forks’n All and The Man Who.

 

Greg Seckold

Greg started performing in his early years as a magician with appearances in shopping malls and on children’s TV shows. A stint in the Carlingford Entertainers in the late 70s and 80s saw Greg playing romantic leads, narrators and villains (his favourite). Currently calling himself a domestic engineer while he builds his own house Greg was at one time an avid go-cart racer and IT expert. Now that he has joined the Lieder to play yet another romantic lead we hope that he will be with us for a while. Welcome aboard.