The Odd Couple: Queer Version | Bangkok Post: Lifestyle

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The Odd Couple: Queer Version

Period:30 Aug 2012 - 10 Sep 2012

Address: Soi Soi Sapankoo, Rama 4 Rd., Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

Service day:Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Service hours: 20:00-23:00

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Official description

Democrazy Theatre studio presents "The Odd Couple: Queer Version", the latest adaptation from The Odd Couple, the classic play by Neil Simon.

This production marks the return of talented Thai director Bhanbhassa Dhubthien, who once translated The Female Odd Couple, Simon's own spin-off, into Thai back in the early 1990s when he was a drama student at Thammasat University.

The Odd Couple: Queer Version runs until Sept 10 (except Tuesdays and Wednesdays) at Democrazy Theatre Studio.

For more information visit the studio’s facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/democrazystudio or call 08-9126-7112.

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Editorial Reviews

The Odd Couple: Queer Version runs until Sept 10 (except Tuesdays and Wednesdays) at Democrazy Theatre Studio. For more information visit the studio’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/ democrazystudio or call Call 08-9126-7112.

Ialways think that every story would be much better off with a gay twist. Just imagine how fun it would be if we had Batman And Robin: The Dark Room, or Harry Potter And The Secret Closet, or better still, Twilight: When Edward Met Jacob. Juicy, isn't it?

Democrazy Theatre studio is doing just that with The Odd Couple, the classic play by Neil Simon. In the latest adaptation with the Thai title Rak Na E Dok (officially The Odd Couple: Queer Version, though the Thai translation is quite rude), every character is a covert gay, and it only proves the mastery of Simon that no matter how many times his story of two incompatible male roommates has been tweaked or spun off, its essence remains relevant.

This production marks the return of talented Thai director Bhanbhassa Dhubthien, who once translated The Female Odd Couple _ Simon's own spin-off _ into Thai back in the early 1990s when he was a drama student at Thammasat University.

While the original play is set in Manhattan, Bhanbhassa transports the story to Bangkok, where the lead characters are gay men. The roommates Oscar and Felix in the original have become Pol and Tle, played by well-known Thai theatre stars Bandit Kaewanna, from B-Floor Theatre's famed Lear And His Three Daughters, and a rising playwright and actor Jaturachai Srichanwanpen.

Pol is a super-neat gay man who recently got dumped by a ''bald man in an ugly beret'' as he said to the audience.

Tle, on the contrary, is a scruffy sportswriter _ the same profession as the original character. It is rare to find a gay sportswriter who is also unhygienic and dishevelled, but it is good to imply that you can't stereotype gay men and their characters.

The whole play takes place in Tle's condominium. In the first scene we're introduced to a group of Tle's friends _ an assortment of gay guys, including a rich man, fashion editor, a twink (gay slang for a youth) and a policeman _ as they are busy playing Trivial Pursuit (in the original, it is poker). Tle decides to allow Pol to stay with him, because he is heart-broken because his boyfriend has left him but still keeps asking for money. This is a real life-experience of many gay men _ and of course, such ordeals happen in other relationships too.

The fun springs mostly from slapstick jokes. And the play benefits from Wattanachai Treedechai, playing an Anna Wintour-wannabe, who steals the show with his biting and cunning jokes and gestures. But Bandit and Jaturachai are a perfect couple. Both men convince us they love each other and hate each other with a passion as the story progresses, and the spirit of Simon's relationship drama remains vivid through their interpretation of the characters.

The scene when Tle explodes with anger after he can hardly bear Pol's behaviour and decides to kick him out is genuine and powerful. The applause goes straight to the two leads, and to the director, who cast the duo and worked with them to achieve the intensity and dramatic pull.

The small but cozy stage at Democrazy Theatre Studio makes the audience feel close to the performers. I was seated near the front row and when there was a fight scene, I could spot a keychain that one character threw at another as if flew right past my eyes. Meanwhile the rhythm of the overall show was so smooth that you could forget you've spent almost three hours at the play.

So, in short, this is a great show to bring your friends along to _ gay or straight. Love and friendship are genderless, as Tle, Pol and his friends show us.

Location

Soi Soi Sapankoo, Rama 4 Rd., Lumphini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

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