Crowdfunding and competition launched for anticipated new musical Vanara ahead of London world premiere

New musical Vanara launches exciting once-in-a lifetime competition and crowdfunding campaign

Highly-anticipated new musical Vanara has launched an exciting online competition, giving one lucky winner the chance to feature on their upcoming London cast recording. The winner will be whisked away to a studio to record their track, appearing on the album alongside musical theatre stars. Entrants must send in their vocal renditions before Sunday 4th July to be considered for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Finalists will be selected every fortnight to have their video shared across social media before the ultimate winner is chosen.

In order to make the production a reality, and deliver it to the highest standard, the musical’s creative team have launched a crowdfunding appeal; rewards for generosity include exclusive tshirts, videos backstage, as well as tickets to the show and afterparty. Vanara’s prevailing message of hope and unity seems all the more relevant as we slowly come out of a chaotic period.

The world premiere of Vanara will open at London’s Hackney Empire from 22nd October for a strictly limited season before embarking on a UK-wide tour in 2022. Casting will be announced in due course.

The ground-breaking new musical will once again bring together the acclaimed international creative team, with a soaring score by Gianluca Cucchiara, lyrics by Andrew James Whelan, and book by Michael Conley. Produced by Giovanna Romagnoli, the production will be co-directed by Adam Lenson and Eleesha Drennan, who will also take on the roles of Dramaturg and Choreographer, respectively.

Producer Giovanna Romagnoli comments, We are excited to provide a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity for one lucky individual, while also showcasing new talent from all across the globe. Vanara is a musical about unity, and it’s a joy to see people come together through the power of theatre and the arts. We hope people can join us on our journey to create something special and we thank everyone for their support however big or small. We couldn’t do this without you.

Sky Studios partners with Birmingham Repertory Theatre for new writing scheme ‘Sky Comedy REP’

Sky Studios partners with Birmingham Repertory Theatre

for new writing scheme ‘Sky Comedy REP’

Comedy legend, Dame Julie Walters will be the scheme’s Patron.  

Award-winning writers Meera Syal, Simon Blackwell, Danny Brocklehurst and Guz Khan among the scheme’s mentors.

Anil Gupta and Sean Foley outside The REP

Sky Studios and Birmingham Repertory Theatre today announce the launch of ‘Sky Comedy REP’, a new partnership that aims to discover and develop new regional comedy writing talent from across the UK, particularly from communities that have traditionally been under-represented in the Arts. 

The scheme – which opens for entries today and features Dame Julie Walters as Patron – will see nine writers selected to develop a one-act stage play. This year, all the plays will focus around a simple premise: a meeting on a park bench. All nine plays will then be performed at a three-day comedy festival at The REP early next year, featuring up-and-coming actors and emerging directors.

Throughout the six-month programme, writers will be paid for their work and receive one-to-one mentoring from huge names in British Comedy including Meera Syal (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars), Simon Blackwell (The Thick of It, Veep) Danny Brocklehurst (BrassicShameless) and Guz Khan (Man Like Mobeen). The scheme will also include a series of workshops and Masterclasses at The REP featuring insights into all aspects of writing and production.

Based in Birmingham, an international hub that is Europe’s youngest and the UK’s most ethnically diverse city, this partnership between Sky Studios and The REP will offer significant talent development in Comedy, helping new writers, who may not have access to conventional networks, emerge and progress, ultimately benefitting the TV, theatre, film and wider creative industries. 

The initiative will be overseen by The REP’s Artistic Director, Olivier Award-winning Sean Foley (The Play What I Wrote) and Sky Studios Creative Director of Comedy, BAFTA Award-winning Anil Gupta (Goodness Gracious Me, The Office). 

Dame Julie Walters, Patron of Sky Comedy REP, said: “I am honoured to be Patron of this important new initiative to provide a platform for new comedy writing talent. Participants will be given access to some of the very best in the business whilst being given a paid opportunity to develop their skills and materials. I very much look forward to seeing, and enjoying, the final results.”

Anil Gupta, Creative Director of Comedy at Sky Studios, said: “At Sky Studios, our ambition is to work with the funniest, most talented writers wherever they maybe. When new and underrepresented voices are nurtured and encouraged, it creates better comedy, that speaks to more of our audience, a belief we share with The REP.” 

Sean Foley, Birmingham REP Artistic Director said: “Sky Comedy REP is a unique and ambitious talent development programme for Comedy Writing in the UK. Developing and nurturing new talent from wherever it springs is a cornerstone of everything The REP does, and we are thrilled that this new partnership with Sky Studios will enable new diverse voices to take first steps in our industry. Comedy is a genre very close to my heart – I’m delighted to be creating  this new initiative alongside some of the UK’s leading names in comedy, including our Patron, the great Dame Julie Walters.” 

The launch of the project further establishes Sky Studios at the forefront of UK Comedy and The REP as the unofficial ‘National Theatre of Comedy’. Working together, the scheme will serve as a training ground for a new generation of narrative comedy writers, directors and actors.

To be eligible, writers must not have had their writing broadcast on television or performed in any theatre above 200 seats in size. For further information on how to submit entries writers can visit:

The deadline for submissions is June 28th 2021.

Full Cast Announced for the UK Tour of GREASE






The producers of the first new production in 25 years of Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey’s iconic musical GREASE are delighted to announce that Dan Partridge will be reprising the role of Danny, having played the role on the UK and Ireland tour in 2019. Georgia Louise will play Sandy, with Paul French as Kenickie and Tendai Rinomhota as Rizzo. They are joined by Alex Christian as Doody, Josh Barnett as Roger, Inez Budd as Marty, Maeve Byrne as Jan, Marianna Neofitou as Frenchy, Corinna Powlesland as Miss Lynch and Cristian Zaccarini as Sonny.

Also in the cast are Alishia-Marie Blake, Thea Bunting, Kevin O’Dwyer, Laura-Jane Fenney, Jacob Fisher, Elliot Gooch, Dom Hutcheson, Haroun al Jeddal, Kalisha Johnson, Hannah-Faith Marram, Matt Trevorrow and Jacob Young.                   

They join the previously announced Peter Andre as Teen Angel and Vince Fontaine at certain venues.

The musical was due to tour in 2020 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19.  Directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, the 2021 tour will now begin at Curve, Leicester from 30 – 31 July.

Peter Andre is currently scheduled to perform at certain performances in Leicester, Plymouth, Canterbury, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Woking, Dartford, Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Southampton, Liverpool and Cardiff. Customers are advised to check their local websites for specific dates.

GREASE originally opened in Chicago in 1971, followed by a move to Broadway in 1972, where it received seven Tony Award nominations, including one for Best Musical. During the show’s eight-year run, at the time, little known actors including Peter Gallagher, Patrick Swayze and John Travolta all appeared in the production, with Richard Gere understudying many roles before going on to star as Danny Zuko in the 1973 London premiere.

The 1978 film adaptation starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John is the fourth highest-grossing live action musical of all time and celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. The musical features beloved songs, including Summer NightsGreased Lightnin’Hopelessly Devoted To You and You’re The One That I Want.

GREASE is directed by Nikolai Foster and choreographed by Arlene Phillips, with designs by Colin Richmond, orchestrations and musical supervision by Sarah Travis, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Tom Marshall and 2021 tour casting by Kay Magson CDG, with original tour casting by David Grindrod CDG.

This production of GREASE is produced by Colin Ingram, InTheatre Productions, Donovan Mannato, Playing Field, William Sinclair, Hunter Arnold, Araca and Curve.



Twitter: @greaseuktour                      

2021 Tour Schedule

30 – 31 July                          Curve, Leicester                                                      0116 242 3595


3 – 7 August                         Theatre Royal Plymouth                                           01752 267222


9 – 14 August                       The Marlowe, Canterbury                                        01227 787787


17 – 21 August                     Theatre Royal, Nottingham                                       0115 989 5555      


23 – 28 August                     Milton Keynes Theatre                                             0844 871 7615*


30 August – 4 September     Stoke Regent Theatre                                              08448717615*                                             


7 – 11 September                 New Victoria Theatre, Woking                                  0844 871 7615*


13 – 18 September               The Orchard Theatre, Dartford                                01322 220000


21 – 25 September               Bristol Hippodrome                                                  0844 871 7615*


27 September – 2 October   Edinburgh Festival Theatre                                      0131 529 6000


5 – 9 October                       Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield                                        


11 – 23 October                   Manchester Opera House                                        0844 871 7615*

26 – 30 October                   Grand Opera House, Belfast                                    028 9024 1919


2 – 6 November                    The Alexandra, Birmingham                                     0844 871 7615*


9 – 13 November                  Mayflower Theatre, Southampton                            02380 711811


15 – 20 November                Liverpool Empire                                                      0844 871 7615*                 


22 – 27 November                Wales Millennium Centre                                        


*calls cost 7p per min plus your phone company’s access charge 

How He Lied To Her Husband and Overruled Review

Orange Tree Theatre – 26 May 2021

Reviewed by Carly Burlinge


Two short, humorous plays by Bernard Shaw

How he Lied to her Husband – When Aurora (Dorothea Myer-Bennett) who plays a panicked and agitated wife, discovers that her love letters from her admirer Henry (Joe Bolland) have been misplaced! She is very concerned that they will end up in the wrong hands of her husband Teddy (Jordan Mifsud). Although her admirer Henry who is very young does not care for others or the consequences of his actions and gets very frustrated!   He feels very passionate is a bit of a dreamer and  besotted by her.  Aurora on the other hand wants to keep the secret and he wants to confess all. This only frustrates Aurora who become quite dramatic gets very agitated and panicky and tries to put Henry in his place. Then Her Husband Teddy (Jordan Mifsud) arrives who plays a man very sure and confident of himself and wants to discover what’s been happening.

Overruled – When Gregory (Alex Bhat) falls for a women Mrs Juno (Hara Yannas) but  finds out that they are both married. Then they discover that both their spouses Sibthorpe Juno (Jordan Mifsud) and Mrs Lunn (Dorothy Myer-Bennett) have also made a connection. All hell breaks lose and conversations spark on love and Marriage. Can they talk each other out of the situation or will love become reckless!

The Orange Tree Theatre was a lovely small venue which I felt was intense and personal all at the same time. Both plays were performed right in front of you with only  a few props  on show and its all that was needed. Great use of lighting through out performance also.
As for the acting what a fantastic performance by all thoroughly believable, a little outrageous and intense at times as well as very funny and enjoyable. What a fabulous combination. A great connection was seen between themselves on stage. Which was entertaining and amusing  to watch. The atmosphere was fabulous with the audience laughing out loud on many occasions. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time definitely worth a watch just Brilliant!

Romeo and Juliet Review

York Theatre Royal – 25 May 2021

Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


This Romeo and Juliet was brought to the stage by The HandleBards, a cycling Shakespearean Company that cycles their way to different venues, usually playing outdoors. York Theatre Royal was fortunate enough to have them performing inside their theatre over two days this week.

Set on the stage with a rainbow of bunting either side of a large rainbow string curtain, we were introduced to Tom Dixon, Paul Moss and Lucy Green, the only three actors performing the show, all playing multiple roles and even sharing one role. Almost from the get-go the trio had the audience laughing with their take on Shakespeare and their use of such things as bicycle pumps and bells, as swords and rings, metres of red ribbon for blood. Juliet even wears the balcony, ingenious.

Green plays Juliet as proper teenager, having tantrums, sulky and petulant, screeching like an old fish wife when she cannot get her own way, but also giddy with her first love, giggling like the child that she really is. This was a wonderful and refreshing take on the character. Juliet and Romeo go in for their first chaste kiss, which quickly escalates into a full-blown snog, something you have no trouble in believing, with all those teenage hormones raging.

The change of characters was somewhat chaotic, but at the same time so effective. Wigs on and off, quick costume changes, props flying around, and I must mention Dixon’s change of accents with each character he portrayed, sounds to behold. It was all extremely fast paced and such a huge laugh. One of the biggest laughs of the evening was Green and the continued use of the “Holy Water”, until she got her comeuppance and ended up in desperate need of a towel.

We were treated to a bit of a song, to open and close the show, and a couple of tap dances thrown in for good measure, including the Sun, having his time to shine. There is even some audience participation, with a gentleman being singled out and this continues throughout the show with much merriment. The cast really looked like they were having a blast and the interaction with the audience cemented this, it was infectious.

“Three actors cooped up together during lockdown”. Fuelled by cabin fever and with a bookshelf full of Shakespeare, they did what they do best and created an unhinged and bonkers, laugh out loud version of Romeo & Juliet. That is what they promised us, and they certainly delivered. This may not be the Romeo and Juliet as you know it, more of a frenzied slapstick instead of a tragedy, but you do get the gist and it does loosely follow the story.

To be honest I am not a huge fan of the traditional Romeo and Juliet, I find it too wordy, but this is right up my street. A fabulous 90 minutes of pure entertainment and I for one will be watching out for future HandleBards performances around the York area.








MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY, London’s premier themed dining experience, is delighted to be throwing open its doors once again at The O2 London, from Friday 1 October 2021, currently booking through to Sunday 3 April 2022, promising to bring fun, spectacle and the escapism of a Greek Island holiday to the heart of the Capital this Autumn.


Created by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is a unique and magical experience in a class of its own, bringing all your favourite hits to life more vividly than ever before: over the course of four glittering hours, guests can immerse themselves in a spectacular musical extravaganza, a four-course authentic Greek feast and an ABBA disco, all in one unforgettable evening of dancing, dining and singing!


Björn Ulvaeus said of the return of MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY, “Mamma Mia! is a genuine, feel-good story and I always thought the much-loved stage show and movies had a party feel to them, so I created a unique dining experience that really captures that spirit. Mamma Mia! The Party has worked out even better than I imagined and I have a feeling that now people want to get out with friends and party more than ever…”

MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is pleased to announce a new menu. Food is at the heart of the experience and the menu collects the finest Greece has to offer, made from the best, freshest ingredients. For further details of the menus, including vegetarian/vegan, please visit the website.

MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is set in a taverna on the beautiful Greek island of Skopelos, where most exteriors of the first MAMMA MIA! film were shot. Nikos and his wife Kate run this exotic and wonderful restaurant together with their family and friends. Told through dialogue and timeless ABBA songs, a warm, romantic and funny story evolves and unfolds during the evening, taking place around the guests as they sit at their tables enjoying a gourmet Greek meal. The evening ends with a 1970s disco, where audience members are welcome to stay to sing and dance to ABBA recordings.


MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY has music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (some songs with Stig Anderson), and a story by Calle Norlén, Roine Söderlundh and Björn Ulvaeus, adapted for the UK by writer, comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig.

Casting is to be announced.

The London version of MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY, which originally opened in Stockholm in January 2016, is co-directed and choreographed by Stacey Haynes and Roine Söderlundh, with set designed by Bengt Fröderberg, lighting designed by Patrick Woodroffe, sound designed by Gareth Owen, costumes designed by Annsofi Nyberg, music supervision by Robin Svensson and casting by David Grindrod for David Grindrod Associates.

MAMMA MIA! THE PARTY is executively produced by Björn Ulvaeus and produced by Sally Davies for U-Live.



The O2

Peninsula Square

London SE10 0DX

Box Office: / 0844 844 9545


Facebook, Instagram, Twitter: @mammamiapartyuk


Currently Booking to Sunday 3 April 2022

Minimum age: 5

Tickets: From £99 (plus booking fees), to include admission, a four-course set meal and welcome drink (additional drinks extra)

Performances: Wednesday to Sunday doors open at 6:30pm, Saturday & Sunday at 12:00pm


SAVAGES presents 





The Turnip Field, a brand new play by Catherine O’Reilly and Tim Churchill, is a heartrending and  funny two-hander, which runs at The Turbine Theatre from 2 – 5 June 2021.  

The Turnip Field is also directed by both Catherine and Tim, and features original music by Jeremy Wootton. The play stars Sean Jones (Blood Brothers – UK Tour, Macbeth – Epstein Theatre, Wave Me Goodbye – Theatre Clwyd) and Josh Capper (Dreamboats and Petticoats – UK Tour, Mamma Mia! – International Tour, The Hound of the Baskervilles – United National Theatre). 

When John is sent to fetch his younger brother Joe from the turnip field, he’s shocked to find the normally placid lad sulking and angry. Waiting for Patrick, Joe is desperate to stay a little longer. As the two brothers while away the hours they talk of their dreams and ambitions outside of the small Irish hamlet that is their home. They play. They fight. They marvel at the skies and the universe whilst debating important issues such as whether Fr ‘Gripper’ Murphy really is the strongest priest in the world and the shocking possibility that the recently crowned ‘Queen of the Plough’ was fixed all along. 

Everything was perfect in the turnip field. But then the weather changed… 



2 – 5 June 2021  

The Turbine Theatre  

Written & Directed by Catherine O’Reilly & Tim Churchill 

Original Music by Jeremy Wootton  

Starring Sean Jones & Josh Capper 

This production contains strong language – Suitable for 12+  


Wednesday 2 June at 7.30pm  

Thursday 3 June at 7.30pm  

Friday 4 June at 7.30pm  

Saturday 5 June at 7.30pm  

Running Time:  85 Minutes – No Interval 

Ticket Price: £20  

Address: Arches Lane, Circus West Village, London, SW11 8AB 


Twitter: @TurbineTheatre   


Please Note – All performances are socially distanced (Perspex screens between each ‘bubble’), omitting alternate rows. Covid-safe hygiene and protocols in place at The Turbine Theatre.  

Theatres Trust gives vital boost to four Theatres at Risk

Theatres Trust gives a boost to four
Theatres at Risk

Theatres Trust, the national advisory body for theatres, has announced the four UK theatres that will receive a share of £45,000 from the third round of its Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme. The theatres are Brighton Hippodrome, Co-op Hall Ramsbottom, Grand Theatre Doncaster and King’s Theatre Kirkcaldy.

The programme is designed to support theatres on the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Register to commission expert advice and acquire the skills and knowledge to push forward capital projects to help save these architecturally important theatres. The theatres are all on the Theatres at Risk Register 2021, as announced in January, but are at various stages in their journey to restoration and revival.

This round of funding will support projects ranging from a building valuation survey to viability and community feasibility studies. Alongside the grant, each theatre will receive free support from the Theatres Trust advice team.

Claire Appleby, Architecture Adviser at Theatres Trust, comments We believe every theatre on our Theatres at Risk list has the potential to be returned for use by their communities, providing performance venues of types currently lacking in their local areas and bringing much needed footfall to beleaguered high streets. We are pleased to support these theatres as we know from experience that these early stages can make a crucial difference to the progress of theatre revitalisation projects

Theatres that have received support through the past two rounds of the programme have made real progress. Morecambe Winter Gardens has reaped the benefits of governance and business planning support, unlocking more sources of funding and providing stability to survive the lockdown. Funding for a conditions survey and governance work has likewise helped the Groundlings Theatre in Portsea access funding for necessary repair works. Viability studies funded at Derby Hippodrome and Swindon Mechanic’s Institute have shown ways forward for the buildings, as a live music venue and a multi-purpose community and cultural space respectively

Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme is made possible thanks to the generous support of The Pilgrim Trust and Swire Charitable Trust, with the past two rounds also funded by Historic England

Sue Bowers, Director at The Pilgrim Trust says Seeking solutions for historic buildings at risk is one of The Pilgrim Trust’s priorities, and so we are delighted that our partnership with the Theatres Trust does just that. Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme is an important step for local communities in preserving these culturally significant buildings now and in the future.

Sarah Irving, Grants Manager at Swire Charitable Trust, says We are delighted to be supporting the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme again. This vital programme is need now more than ever to help create viable futures for these endangered local gems and support the community groups fighting to see them survive. We will follow the progress of each project with great interest.

KEALA SETTLE Live in Concert this Christmas at the CADOGAN HALL







Fourth Wall Live is thrilled to announce that Keala Settle will be performing live in concert this Christmas at the Cadogan Hall at 7.30pm on Wednesday 22 December 2021. Tickets will be on sale from 12.00noon on Friday 28 May 2021.

Keala said today, “After the past year and a half we have had, I have learned and understood more about my voice and the healing power of music. This concert is filled with music that has helped heal me and rediscover life. I cannot wait to share it with you all. Performing in London will be a long-awaited homecoming and I am so excited to celebrate with everyone!”

Actress and singer, Keala Settle, is the breakout star of 20th Century Fox’s, “The Greatest Showman”, alongside Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and Zendaya. The Hawaii native’s performance of the film’s Oscar-nominated song “This Is Me” became an explosive anthem of self-acceptance, propelling the soundtrack to the top of the charts worldwide and reaching #1 on the UK’s charts for a record-smashing 28 weeks.

“The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” became a global success and 2018’s best-selling album in the world with 3.5 million units sold. The album reached Number One on iTunes in over 77 countries, Number One on the charts in 9 countries and Top 10 in 12 countries. Furthermore, the soundtrack holds a spot in the Top 10 albums that have spent the longest time at #1 in history.

In 2019, Keala joined Hugh Jackman on his world tour, The Man. The Music. The Show., where she performed “This Is Me” for audiences across Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and parts of North America.

Keala is no stranger to the stage; she earned a Tony-nomination for her stirring Broadway performances, which include “Hands on a Hardbody”, the revival of “Les Misérables”, and “Waitress”. This paved the way for her foray into film, where she debuted in 2015’s Ricki and THE FLASH alongside Meryl Streep. Keala also stared in Melissa McCarthy’s directorial collaboration with a short for Wal-Mart entitled “The Box”, which first aired during the 2018 Academy Awards. The poignantly emotional short featured Keala’s soaring cover of Sia’s “Birds Set Free”, adding her unique confidence and power to an already inspiring song. That same year, she was given the opportunity to work with singer-songwriter-recording artist Todrick Hall and Jade Novah on the title track of his most important album to date; “Forbidden.” In December 2020 she was featured in the film “All My Life” alongside Harry Shum, Jr. and Jessica Rothe. The film’s soundtrack includes two songs she covered: “Love Song” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”

In December 2017, Keala released her debut EP Chapter One, a compilation of contemporary R&B infused covers, including her interpretation of Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” In April 2019, Keala released her single “Feels So Good,” featured in Target’s “Do More” campaign. Keala has also recently released three other singles: “Harder,” “The Last Letter” and “Shooting At Myself.” Keala Settle effortlessly bridges the space between the Motown soul queen and modern pop star, thanks to her iconic voice and her unwavering confidence.

Fourth Wall Live is an exciting new collaboration between boutique concert producer Club 11 London and theatrical producers DLAP Entertainment. Having previously successfully produced Chita Rivera at Cadogan Hall together, the teams have now combined to bring audiences a plethora of international artists in concert at leading venues. Their most recent production, EUROBEAT – THE PRIDE OF EUROPE was loved by audiences and critics alike during its streamed season in May 2021.





Anthology Theatre, in association with Riverside Studios, today announces full cast and creatives for the 60th anniversary production of Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece Happy Days, directed by Trevor NunnSimon Wolfe plays Willie, joining the previously announced Lisa Dwan as Winnie. Completing the creative team are designer Robert Jones (Fiddler on the RoofQuiz), lighting designer Tim Mitchell (Upstart CrowKinky Boots), sound designer Johnny Edwards (Moorcroft), production manager Matt Towell (WaitressCome From Away), and costume supervisor Kate Hemstock (The Full MontyWe Will Rock You).

The production opens on 17 June at Riverside Studios, where the playwright rehearsed Endgame in 1980 and Waiting for Godot in 1984, with previews from 11 June, and running until 25 July 2021.

‘Nothing more to say, nothing more to do’

Winnie and her husband Willie are stuck in every sense of the word. Endless days and nights pass by while they struggle on, with only each other for company. 

Samuel Beckett’s world-renowned play Happy Days comes to the Riverside Studios in a landmark 60th anniversary production. Brought to you by a multi-award-winning creative team, with direction from Trevor Nunn and starring ‘Beckett interpreter of the first rank’ (Observer) Lisa Dwan as our heroine Winnie, this is a spirited and triumphant revival most pertinent for our unparalleled times.

Winnie takes comfort in the monotony of her existence, passing the time by completing routine tasks, her blithe and buoyant manner allowing her to believe ‘another happy day’ is occurring. But ritual and a sunny disposition can only keep Winnie’s head above the parapet for so long, before the futility of her and Willie’s existence threatens to engulf her completely. 

This enduring, potent, and lively tale of existential limbo presents a playful, but poignant look, at human strength and survival amidst the most surreal of circumstances. 

This brand-new production of Beckett’s two hander will be staged in a Covid safe environment following government advice and adhering to current social distancing guidelines.

Happy Days marks the first production from recently relaunched Anthology Theatre Productions. With a long history of investment and co-production, Anthology Theatre has repositioned itself as a full-scale production company, producing and managing its own work under newly appointed Managing Director & Executive Producer, Lil Lambley.

Samuel Beckett (1906 – 1989) was an Irish writer, dramatist and poet. He wrote in both English and French, and his principal works for the stage also include EndgameKrapp’s Last Tape and Waiting for Godot. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969.

Lisa Dwan is an award-winning Irish performer, director, writer, and scholar. Having originally trained in the UK as a ballet dancer—dancing with Rudolf Nureyev in Coppelia and with The London Lewis Ballet Company—she began acting professionally in her teens. She has since worked extensively in theatre, film, and television, both internationally and in her native Ireland. Hailed by Ben Brantley in the New York Times as “the nonpareil interpreter of Samuel Beckett”, Dwan is best known for her critically acclaimed one-woman performances of Beckett’s plays, including The Beckett Trilogy & No’s Knife, both of which have sold out across the globe. She was recently in BBC TV series Bloodlands, and is continuing in her role as Lizzie in the new season of Netflix’s Top Boy – in a part written especially for her by acclaimed BAFTA winning writer, Ronan Bennett and produced by the Canadian rap artist Drake. Over the past two years, and as part of her project series of rewriting the Greek classics for women, Dwan has worked closely with Colm Tóibín to create a new version of Pale Sister which had its world première in November 2019, recorded for Audible 2020, and was filmed by the BBC in Spring 2021. Continuing this series, she has recently begun collaborating with Margaret Atwood on a new translation of Medea to be directed by Robert Lepage, and with Salman Rushdie, who is writing an adaption of Helen of Troy especially for her. Other recent theatre includes The Lover & The Collection (STC in Washington DC – 2019 Emery Battis award for outstanding contribution to acting), world premières of Studio Creole and American Standard (The Forum Theatre, New York), The Lover & The Collection, Pale Sister (Gate Theatre), Anna Karenina(Abbey Theatre Dublin), No’s Knife’ (The Old Vic), Margot, Diary of an Unhappy Queen (Barbican), The Journey Between Us (Southwark Playhouse), Illusions (Bush Theatre), Not I (Royal Court Theatre), and Beside the Sea (Southbank Centre). Her screenwork includes as Anna Livia Plurabelle in Suzanne Lopez’s film adaptation of James Joyce’s ‘Finnegan’s Wake’, Wake the Streets, Trust, An Afterthought and Disney’s Oliver Twist. Dwan writes, presents, and lectures regularly on theatre, culture and Beckett for various publications including BBC Radio and Television; as well as lecturing both in the UK and US, where recently she took up the position of long-term visiting professor at Princeton University. Her book A Body of Beckett will be published by Virago Books (UK) in 2021. She is also contributor to the recently published Vision For Europe Hay Festival Press and En Compagnie de Beckett / In The Company of Beckett published by Passages.

Simon Wolfe plays Willie. His previous theatre credits include Dublin Carol (Sherman Theatre), The Weir (Tobacco Factory), War Horse (National Theatre), Orpheus Descending (Royal Exchange Manchester), Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Exchange Manchester, UK tour), Vermillion Dream (Salisbury Playhouse), One Minute (Sheffield Theatres, Bush Theatre), Great Expectations (Bristol Old Vic), As the Beast Sleeps (Tricycle Theatre), and Force of Change (Royal Court Theatre). His television credits include We Hunt TogetherCarnival RowComing Up, and The Catherine Tate Show.