There are more than just two odd people in the cast of Rivercity Players’ up-coming production of The Odd Couple (Female Version).
For starters, Julie Rigby who plays Olive, the untidy one, in the play, has a very strange, occult relationship with her ’77 VW van, which she blames for her living on Quadra Island.
“The first time over, the van decided she really loved Quadra,” Rigby said. “She broke down! The van wanted to stay, and being that Quadra Island is so beautiful, I ended up following the van’s advice and staying!”
Gail Tisdale, who plays Florence, the prissy, tidy one, confesses to having spent eleven years in Saudi Arabia.
“After so many years of living in a country where theatre with men and women together is strictly forbidden, I love the freedom of Rivercity Players. Plus the fact that I can drive myself to rehearsals again.”
Gail and her partner, Phil, could have been expelled from Saudi Arabia on one occasion. Putting on theatre shows for fellow expatriates was acceptable, but in one particular show Gail was given the part of a prostitute. Actors had to dress for their parts at home because there were no facilities at the performance hall.
When she changed in a hurry, after work, and jumped in the back of the car, with Phil driving.
On the way there, she realized she had forgotten to put on her abaya (a voluminous, black, head to toe cloak with veil) which, in muslim countries, is required dress for women, instead she was dressed like a European prostitute.
If an Arabic person had seen her, both she and Phil would have been expelled from he country. Fortunately, no one did.
A third member of cast, Megan Hurn, also spent time as a nurse in the Middle East.
When she first arrived in Saudi Arabia she found it hard to get used to the washroom signs in the hospital that stated ‘Please Do Not Stand On The Seat.’
It took her some time to realize that some patients did not have these kinds facilities and just did things the way they were used to doing them.
“Good actors always have life experiences they can draw upon,” said Ruth Nichol, director of The Odd Couple. “These three ladies have very unusual ones, but everyone in the cast has a library of life experiences which enables them to perform well.”
The Odd Couple runs Nov. 16– 20 with a two for one ticket deal on opening night.