Royal Exchange Manchester associate artist Maxine Peake is to take on the role of Samuel Beckett’s enigmatic heroine, Winnie, in artistic director Sarah Frankcom’s fresh production of Happy Days. David Crellin joins Peake on stage in the role of Willie. The show runs at the theatre from 25 May to 23 June 2018 (press night is 30 May).
Winnie is at the centre of a land-filled mound, staying put and seeing all. She punctuates her days with reassuring rituals that elevate her mood and bring optimism to this stark, unyielding landscape. Her mirror, spectacles, and toothbrush all conjure memories and snatches of ancient conversation; a long-forgotten world projected on to life’s detritus. For Winnie, this is going to be a happy day, armed with her lipstick… and a gun.
The creative team includes designer Naomi Dawson, lighting designer Jack Knowles and sound designer Claire Windsor.
Maxine Peake is an acclaimed actor, writer and an associate artist at the Royal Exchange. Her most recent work here includes A Streetcar Named Desire, The Skriker and Hamlet, all of which were created in partnership with director Sarah Frankcom. Her writing credits include: The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca, Beryl and Queens of the Coal Age.
David Crellin returns to the Royal Exchange theatre following his roles in The Mighty Walzer, Hunger For Trade and Saturday Night, Sunday Morning. Other recent theatre credits include: The Weald (Royal Exchange and Snuff Box); The Ockerbys On Ice (Dukes Lancaster) and The Hoard Festival (New Vic, Stoke)
Sarah Frankcom is the artistic Ddirector of the Royal Exchange Theatre. Her recent productions include: Our Town, The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca (Hull City of Culture), A Streetcar Named Desire, The Skriker (co-commission with MIF15) and Hamlet (all with Maxine Peake), Blindsided, That Day We Sang and the Royal Exchange and MIF13 co-production The Masque of Anarchy.