This isn’t a sponsored post.
BrumHour saw Happy Days at the invite of Birmingham Rep.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production considers many themes but particularly makes references to suicide.
Review: Happy Days at Birmingham Rep
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A storming performance by Siobhán McSweeney
Directed by Caitríona McLaughlin, written by Samuel Beckett
There are very few productions that I’d give five stars to on the sheer audacity alone but here we are. Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days features just two actors; Siobhán McSweeney as Winnie and Willie played by Howard Teale.
Told in two acts, Winnie is up to her waist in sand and facing the audience she essentially monologues her thoughts to us, the audience whilst Willie has very little to say for himself other than reading sections from a newspaper. Winnie seems to be traumatised and needs reassurance from the largely uninterested Willie.
The stage has three walls each with rectangular holes in them and appears to be a huge sand dune. Winnie refers to Willie like they are a married couple but also animals and makes really very little reference to their situation.
This production, like all productions, won’t be for everyone but I was totally obsessed with it and knew next to nothing about it before entering the theatre. The moments of silence invite you as an audience to have moments of silence too. For a Birmingham audience, this brings out discomfort and laughter. (Like when Birmingham people are interviewed on news reports and seem to laugh or smile at the end, for reassurance)
Featuring a storming performance by Siobhán McSweeney, supported by Howard Teale who is funny with his few lines, Happy Days is at Birmingham Rep until 1st July 2023. Book tickets at birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/happy-days.