Actors Matt Watson, David Mohr, Kelly Vanderswan and Clare Wedgewood are supposed to be crying in this scene during dress rehearsal for the Peninsula Players’ upcoming performance of The Odd Couple. Oddly, they appear to be sharing a laugh. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

All-female Odd Couple hits Royal Oak, Sidney stages this month

Peninsula Players in rehearsals for Oct. 13 show opening

There’s a mix of veterans and newcomers in the cast of The Peninsula Players’ production of The Odd Couple and it’s having some great results in rehearsals.

The Players have been rehearsing the all-female version of The Odd Couple for almost two months, with shows at Berwick Royal Oak this week and a trio of performances in Sidney at the Charlie White Theatre next week. Under the direction of seasoned director Geoffrey Davidson, the cast has come together quickly and found they were bonding almost as much as the characters.

At least, after they get over each other’s foibles.

The Odd Couple is about Florence Unger (played by newcomer Clare Wedgwood) and Olive Madison (played by Kelly Vanderswan). They are roommates with very different habits and personalities — and they are trying to just get along.

Vanderswan says she can identify with some of the more slovenly and set-in-her-ways aspects of Madison — someone who needs a roommate like Unger to bring a little cleanliess and order to their lives. And while there is a lot of conflict between the two characters, which spawns a lot of laughs, Vanderswan said they do bond in the end.

“I hope (audiences) are touched by the friendship. I hope we get that across.”

Vanderswan has acted with The Peninsula Players before, her first as Molly in The Mousetrap. She then did three years of summer shows at the Muse Winery, performances sponsored by the Players. She is working with Wedgwood, from Sidney, who is only in her second play. She did have a role in one of the Players’ Christmas pantomimes — something she said she’d had on her to-do list for a long time. But the acting bug seems to have stuck.

“It’s always been someone that I’ve been interested in,” Wedgwood said. “Then life got in the way, things happen.”

She found the time to get involved in the panto, however, and while she could cross acting in a play off that list, Wedgwood said she found herself longing for more.

“It’s all an experience, and if you never audition, you’ll never get a part.”

Wedgwood said she’s been busy learning her lines and working closely with other cast members.

Director Davidson said the pairing of Wedgwood and Vanderswan has been “very good, very funny” in rehearsals so far and audiences can expect to see a very funny show with some great performances by the cast.

“This is about real people, real friendships and all of the actual logistics that come along with that,” he said.

Davidson has been directing plays the The Peninsula Players since 2013’s the Importance of Being Earnest. He calls the relationship “fruitful” for both he and The Players.

Davidson added he’s seen a lot of good work from the cast in rehearsals and audiences can expect good things on stage.

The Peninsula Players’ production of The Odd Couple opens Fri., Oct. 13 at Berwick Royal Oak at 7:30 p.m. and continued Oct. 14 (7:30 p.m. show) and Oct. 15 (2 p.m. show).

The play comes to Sidney and the Charlie White Theatre Fri., Oct. 20 (7:30 p.m.), Oct. 21 (7:30 p.m.) and Oct. 22 (2 p.m.)

For tickets, call the Mary Winpear Centre box office at 250-656-2075.

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