Not many can do justice to comedy as American playwright Neil Simon has, and when you take one of his most successful Broadway hits and adapt it for a home-grown audience, there is a possibility that the end result may disappoint. Such is the risk that director Ishwar Shunya, of the theatre group Saanjha Sapna, has taken for his upcoming production, The Odd Couple, but not without a twist.
“The original play, with an all-male cast, was written in 1965 and was a huge success. But then he wrote a new version in 1985 in which all the genders were reversed. So the play I am putting up is Simon’s female version of The Odd Couple,” says Ishwar, who also believes that the play is a commentary on feminism. “The two main characters in the play are starkly different from each other. Through these characters, Simon analyses the situation of women in contemporary times. This is his definition of feminism which is portrayed in the form of satire,” he adds.
Quiz Ishwar on how it felt working with a woman cent-ric cast, with the exception of just two characters portrayed by men, and he says, “It was an enlightening experience. Though the play is very funny, the underlying text is very intense and serious. We, as a team, indulged in a lot of discussion and dialogue before we started rehearsing. I got to know more about not just feminist theatre but also how women see and understand things.”
Catch it live
What: Saanjha Sapna’s The Odd Couple
When: April 27-28
Timing: 7pm onwards
Where: Alliance Francaise, Lodhi Road
NEAREST METRO STATION: Khan Market on the Violent Line