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Happy Days Show with Robyn Malcolm

( Silo Theatre presents the Omnigraphics season of Happy Days
Written by Samuel Beckett. Directed by Michael Hurst

After a three-year hiatus, Outrageous Fortune star Robyn Malcolm returns to the stage to celebrate this thing we called life in Silo Theatre’s production of Samuel Beckett’s classic Happy Days, opening at the Herald Theatre on 20 August.

Amidst blazing light and scorched grass, Winnie is half-buried in a mound. Still she greets each day with a smile, rummaging around in her handbag, applying makeup, brushing her teeth and nattering away to her husband. She’s always got a loaded revolver stashed away should it all get too much. Hers might not be the ideal life, but should a happy day come her way she’ll seize it with both hands. Buried slowly beneath the mire of an indifferent universe, Winnie offers the bravest response possible. She persists.

Samuel Beckett was a humorist. Not that you’d guess it from the reverential tones used to describe the great Nobel Laureate absurdist or the stern-faced portraits glaring back at you from show programmes. His masterpiece Happy Days was “influenced” by Beckett’s wife Maureen, who on seeing his earlier Krapp’s Last Tape, demanded he write “a happier play”. At the heart of all his plays, no matter how bleak, are nonsensical situations, with a strange familiarity, played out by buffoons not unlike ourselves.

Such was the import of Samuel Beckett and his work, that he has become historic in his native Ireland, with a bridge named after him in Dublin, an appearance on a commemorative coin on the 100th anniversary of his birth and a hallowed Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969, “for his writing, which – in new forms for the novel and drama – in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation”.

If the peak of an actor’s career is to be buried up to her neck and still glory in life, then who but Robyn Malcolm is up to the task? She is after all, one of New Zealand’s most prolific and celebrated actors. In a theatre career spanning 22 years, she has performed for every major theatre company in the country, playing in everything from gritty European classics to home-grown comedies. She is perhaps best known however, for her onscreen work. Her work as Shortland Street’s Ellen Crozier and then as Outrageous Fortune’s Cheryl West has garnered her 11 major awards and countless other nominations. She has spent much of 2010 working in Sydney, shooting the feature film Burning Man and the new Australian drama Rake.

Robyn is in good company, joining forces with old drama school chum Cameron Rhodes and director Michael Hurst. Rhodes continues his long association with Silo Theatre, following his star turns in Loot, The Threepenny Opera and the current production of Assassins. Hurst will once again take a modern masterpiece and distil its abiding essence, taking audiences to the brink in a visually arresting production of this legendary work, which has not been seen in Auckland since 1975, when a Theatre Corporate production starred Elizabeth McRae and Roy Billing.

Happy Days plays
20 August – 18 September
Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE
Tickets: $20.00 – $39.00 (service fees will apply)
Tickets available through THE EDGE or 09 357 3358

Media Release 3 August 2010 from THE EDGE.



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