We chatted to Simon about starring in the 60th anniversary revival of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at the Riverside Studios.
Hi Simon – for those who don’t know what Happy Days is about, could you tell me a bit more
about the background to the story? Well, in Happy Days we meet Winnie, who is stuck, metaphorically and also literally stuck up to her middle in the earth. Keeping her company is her husband Willie, who may or may not
be of any help or comfort or indeed company for her. Will Winnie’s boundless optimism lift her out of her predicament or will she sink? You’ll have to come along to find out!
Were you familiar with the play at all before becoming involved with this production? I’d read the play years ago but I’ve never seen it on stage.
What was it about Happy Days that grabbed your attention? When I was asked to audition and I read the play again I was reminded how funny it is but also how heart breaking and poetic.
How does it feel to be part of this 60th anniversary production? Of course I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this production, at this time and with this team, and also to be doing it at The Riverside Studios where Samuel Beckett himself rehearsed several of his plays, is a real honour.
What has it been like to work on the show so far? After this past year, to be back rehearsing a play again is just a joy, but to working on one of the greatest plays of all time, well, it couldn’t get any better.
How does it feel to know you will be able to perform in front of live audiences again? To be back in the room, together, sharing our space and telling stories, it’s going to be a very emotional thing, for all of us.
What can people expect when they come along and see the show? Live Theatre! One of the greatest plays, by one of the greatest writers, directed by one of our greatest directors, Trevor Nunn. You’ll laugh, you’ll probably cry, and Lisa Dwan who plays Winnie will blow your mind.
By Emma Clarendon
Happy Days continues to play at the Riverside Studios until the 25th July.