Melbourne Theatre Company Presents HAPPY DAYS

Performances begin Friday 5 May at Southbank Theatre.

Melbourne Theatre Company Presents HAPPY DAYS

Comedian Judith Lucy takes the stage in Samuel Beckett's absurdist masterpiece Happy Days, opening on Friday 5 May at Southbank Theatre.

In her debut lead role, audiences will see Judith in a role they have never seen before as she plays Winnie, a determined optimist in the face of an endless existential crisis who just happens to be buried up to her waist. Directed by Petra Kalive (Lifespan of a Fact, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes), this 20th century classic also stars Hayden Spencer (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) as Willie.

The tragicomic tour-de-force, hailed as one of the best plays ever written, has never been more resonant despite being written more than 60 years ago. Through the character of Winnie, audiences will be drawn into her world of hope and despair, and ultimately be left with a profound understanding of the power of human resilience.

Artistic Director & Co-CEO Anne-Louise Sarks said, 'We are thrilled to bring Samuel Beckett's masterpiece Happy Days to Southbank Theatre with Judith Lucy taking on the role of Winnie, a woman who embodies endurance and optimism in the face of an increasingly extreme world. Director Petra Kalive's focus on the heart of the work and the incredible talents of Judith and Hayden, as well as the vision of the Happy Days creative team, bring freshness to this timeless classic.

'Although it premiered in 1961, Happy Days is a work that's about where we find ourselves now, and I'm excited for audiences to experience a new perspective on our contemporary life through this great play's poetry, absurdity, wittiness, and comedy.'

Speaking about the role, Judith Lucy said, 'All I wanted to be when I was growing up was a stage actor. I got a little side-tracked, but this fifty-five year old menopausal lady is making her Melbourne Theatre Company debut as the lead in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days so break out the champagne!

'I have no idea what it's actually about but I was attracted to the idea of playing a demented, deluded woman dealing with a hopeless, uncommunicative man on a dying planet essentially because it will require very little acting. Award season here I come!'

Buried up to her waist, but never questioning why, Winnie is determined to carry on as best she can. Awoken by a piercing bell, she is accompanied only by the contents of her purse and her husband Willie. Willie doesn't share Winnie's predicament, but he is just as stuck. Despite the unrelenting sun and the limitations of her current - and eventually, sinking - situation, Winnie remains adamant that this is a happy day; these are all happy days.

Judith Lucy is a bestselling, award-winning writer, actor and comedian. She has appeared on stage and screen in various roles and has toured her stand-up comedy shows extensively around Australia, selling out huge venues across the country since the 1990s. She has been awarded two Green Room Awards, a Helpmann Award, The People's Choice Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and two Age Critics Awards. Judith writes a film review column for The Monthly, she is the bestselling author of three devastatingly honest, hilarious books, and has created two ABC series: Judith Lucy's Spiritual Journey and Judith Lucy Is All Woman, which were both nominated for AACTA awards. Her third book, Turns Out I'm Fine: How Not to Fall Apart was released in 2021 and was nominated for the Australian Book Buyers Award, an award she previously won for The Lucy Family Alphabet. Judith's impactful podcast Overwhelmed and Living was released at the end of 2022, it directly follows on from the previous series Overwhelmed and Dying. Happy Days is her debut show with Melbourne Theatre Company.

RELATED STORIES - Australia - Melbourne

Theatrical Partners With The Lost Dogs' Home to Support 'There's No Place Like Home' Winter Adoption Appeal

The phrase immortalised by The Wizard of Oz has been given new meaning as Melbourne winter approaches. While Dorothy can click her ruby-red heels together to take her and Toto home, animals of Melbourne are calling on the hearts of pet loving Victorians to give them a furever home.

MJ Wilson Brings CABARET NIGHT FEVER To The Butterfly Club, 19 - 24 June

When MJ Wilson decided to bring back his popular 2022 Fringe show Cabaret Night Fever for a 2023 season, he wanted to make it a little bolder, a lot cheekier - and a great deal Bigger. With his inflatable sidekick Otto already pumped to maximum size, this inspired writer/comedian decided that the best way to fill his performance space was with the magic of sound. The result is a scintillating, provocative soundscape that will capture MJ and the audience as one when Cabaret Night Fever opens at The Butterfly Club on June 19.

Stewart Reeve's CHAMELEON Comes to Gasworks Arts Park in July

Stewart Reeve, star of the hit show Rebel, returns to the stage this July with his award-winning one-man show, Chameleon.

Photos: First Look at Kirby Lunn In MESSHEAD

International leading lady Kirby Lunn is starring in a new one-woman show MESShead. The show will be making its Australian debut at The Butterfly club in Melbourne and will go international when it debuts at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023. As an unstoppable force in theatre and comedy we’re sure this is not a show you will want to miss. Check out the promotional photos below!


#repshow# in[i]# Bleached
Bluestone Church Arts Space (6/22-7/01)CAST
#repshow# in[i]# Bleached
The Bowery Theatre (7/14-7/14)
#repshow# in[i]# Jens Radda: Skank Sinatra
The Butterfly Club (5/29-6/03)
#repshow# in[i]# Becoming Eliza
Comedy Theatre (8/26-8/26)
#repshow# in[i]# Cabaret Night Fever
The Butterflyh Club (6/19-6/24)
#repshow# in[i]# Crocodiles by Vidya Rajan
Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre (5/24-6/07)
#repshow# in[i]# Konstantin: Grandmother’s Tongue
Chapel Off Chapel (6/23-6/25)
#repshow# in[i]# Aretha - A Love Letter to the Queen of Soul
Hamer Hall (7/02-7/02)
#repshow# in[i]# Romeo and Juliet
Arts Centre Melbourne (7/13-7/29)

Recommended For You