by | Apr 24, 2024

Rehearsals are underway for Neil Simon’s classic comedy The Odd Couple which will open at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre from 18 May and the Theatre Royal Sydney from 27 June. Due to huge demand, extra Melbourne performances have been scheduled up until 23 June, on presale now and on sale from tomorrow.

 Starring as Oscar and Felix in The Odd Couple are Shane Jacobson and Todd McKenney, the archetypal odd couple, as different as chalk and cheese, but best mates and constant collaborators. Since they met on the Channel 7 TV series The Real Full Monty several years ago, the friends have worked together on TV in Mates on a Mission and The All New Monty, and on stage in The Rocky Horror Show and Hairspray (as husband and wife).

Joining Shane and Todd will be stage and screen stars Lucy Durack (Legally Blonde, Upper Middle Bogan) and Penny McNamee (Home and Away, City of Angels) as Cecily Pigeon and Gwendolyn Pigeon, the giggly pair of English sisters who live upstairs from Oscar. Lucy and Penny have been best friends since they played alongside each other in the original Australian cast of the Broadway blockbuster musical Wicked.

The poker loving friends of Oscar will be played by John Batchelor (Sea Patrol, Red Dog), Laurence Coy (Ladies in Black, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest), Jamie Oxenbould (Chapter Two, Last of the Red Hot Lovers) and Anthony Taufa (Black is the New White, A Christmas Carol), with Julia Ohannessian (Hamlet, Accidental Death of an Anarchist), Berynn Schwerdt (The Crucible, Much Ado About Nothing) and Hayden Spencer (Deadloch, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) as understudies.

The Odd Couple will be directed by Mark Kilmurry, the Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney where he has previously directed The Odd Couple and other Neil Simon classics. Produced by John Frost for Crossroads Live, this laugh-a-minute Tony Award-winning play by the master of comedy Neil Simon, is sure to have audiences rolling in the aisles.

I’ve long been a fan of Neil Simon’s work and have been waiting for the right pair of actors to play Oscar and Felix in The Odd Couple,” said John Frost. “When I witnessed the great friendship between Shane Jacobson and Todd McKenney, and how wonderfully they work together on stage, I knew I’d found my perfect Oscar and Felix. We have found an exceptionally gifted company of actors to perform this much loved classic. I know audiences are going to love The Odd Couple and getting to know these mismatched flatmates all over again.”

The Odd Couple opened on Broadway in March 1965 at the Plymouth Theatre (now Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre) and ran for 16 months. Directed by Mike Nichols, the play starred Walter Matthau as Oscar Madison and Art Carney as Felix Ungar and gained Tony Awards for Best Script, Best Actor (Walter Matthau), Best Direction of a Play and Best Scenic Design, and was nominated for Best Play.

In the decades since its premiere, Neil Simon’s Tony Award winning play about friendship, divorce and misunderstandings has been recreated for film and television several times. In 1968 it was filmed with Jack Lemmon as Felix opposite Matthau, and in 1970 it was remade for television with Tony Randall as Felix and Jack Klugman as Oscar. Along the way several other derivative works and spin-offs have been produced, including a female version and even a kids cartoon with a (neat) cat and a (messy) dog.

Famous duos to have played these iconic roles include Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, Martin Short and Eugene Levy, Jamie Farr and William Christopher (from MASH), comedians Bill Bailey and Alan Davies, and in 1996 Jack Klugman and Tony Randall reprised their film roles on the London stage.

Two suddenly single pals — a sloppy sportswriter and a fastidious news writer — strain their friendship by becoming roommates and unconsciously repeating the same mistakes they made in the marriages they just left. Neurotic and neat freak Felix Ungar is thrown out by his wife, and moves in with his slovenly friend Oscar Madison. The characteristics that drove each of them to leave their wives soon have them at each other’s throats in this classic comedy.

It started as a play and Broadway laughed. A movie and a TV series followed and the whole world laughed. Now, laugh all over again with this hilarious new Australian stage production of The Odd Couple.

Instagram and Facebook @theoddcoupleplay


Venue                                  Comedy Theatre, Melbourne

Season                                18 May – 23 June

Performance Times      Wed-Thurs 7:00pm, Fri-Sat 7:30pm, Wed 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1 & 6pm

Prices:                                 From $69.90 (Transaction fees apply)

Bookings:                  or phone 13 28 49

Groups 8+ call (03) 9299 9873

Venue                                  Theatre Royal Sydney

Season                                From 27 June

Performance Times      Tue-Thurs 7pm, Fri-Sat 7:30pm, Wed & Thu 1pm, Sat 2pm, Sun 1 & 6pm

Prices:                                 From $69.90 (Transaction fees apply)

Bookings:                  or 1300 163 808

Groups 8+ enquire at or 1300 163 808

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