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 Connecting professional and amateur theatre in Newbury, West Berkshire and beyond

Out The Box

Out The Box on Facebook is at www.facebook.com/OutTheBoxNewbury

Last production

Where

5th September: Hungerford Rugby Club
6th September: Central Studio, Basingstoke
7th to 8th September: New Greenham Arts
10th September: ACE Space, Newbury
11th September: Walwyn Hall, Lambourn

Box office

Tickets from www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/EGGGFJ.

Review of The Odd Couple

30th May to 1st June 2013.

From the Newbury Weekly News.

Thumbs-up for Out The Box debut

Out The Box: The Odd Couple, at New Greenham Arts, from Thursday, May 30 to Saturday, June 1

It is poker night in Oscar's New York City apartment. The boys are gathered around the table, smoking, drinking and throwing their used beer cans and crisp packets on the floor. Someone is missing though. Felix arrives late, he has broken up with his wife, is distressed, suicidal almost, and has nowhere to stay.

This lively beginning to Neil Simon's classic comedy sets the scene for the sharing of a flat by two highly incompatible characters, Oscar and Felix. Jez Mann handled the difficult, heavy role of Oscar with real skill and sustained the character to the very end.

David Richardson was just right as the fussy, tidy, neat and highly-irritating Felix and although it was easy to see why slobbish Oscar's marriage had broken up, you did wonder about Felix, who cooked and cleaned and hoovered and generally kept the flat pristine. Over-zealous housekeepers in the audience must surely have squirmed as Felix, pinny round his waist, brought in beer on a tray, fussed as one or other of the boys failed to use a coaster and swept up crisp crumbs under their feet.

And when Oscar invites two young English girls from the flat upstairs to join them for dinner, what does Felix do? He tells the girls about his lovely wife and kids, bursts into tears and soon has the girls crying with him. Bang goes Oscar's romantic plans for the evening and bang goes the two-man sharing partnership. Rhiannon Bremner and Kate Leek played Gwendolyn and Cecily with warmth and lots of sympathy for the hapless Felix and there were strong supporting performances from Neil Harvey, Jamie Ledwith. Paul Hyde and Paul Strickland as the 'Poker Boys'.

However, it was the two principals that gave the strongest, most sustained and impressive performances. Full marks to directors Christopher Rand and Ellie Selby for smooth continuity and character development overall and a big, fat 'Newbury Oscar' to Out The Box company for a scintillating, smooth and highly entertaining first production. More please.

DEREK ANSELL

Previous productions