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Encore Theatre Magazine
::Front Page::

:: Friday, January 12, 2007 ::

Happy Days Are Here Again

Back in the early 1990s, Deborah Warner decided to have a fresh look at Footfalls. She and Fiona Shaw (both pictured), reconceived the play, usually performed in a thin strip of light, around the auditorium of the dark Garrick Theatre, the voices coming at us from strange angles and we sat backwards on the old theatre seats and heard this curious theatre ghost haunting the old spaces. The Beckett Estate were outraged. It is, admittedly, annoying for writers when directors treat stage directions as ignorable but Beckett's work is often enough revived in faithful, even reverential productions (viz. the recent Gate Beckett festival), that a bit of theatrical reinvention would seem like a good idea. Indeed, if his work is to survive, one might think exploring its edges and folds and corners essential. But the Estate did not think so and banned Deborah Warner from ever getting another crack at Sam's Holy work.

But they've clearly kissed and made up. The Beckett Estate had become, largely because of that incident (though there have been others), a by-word for authorial tyranny, and Deborah Warner has hardly been damaged by the controversy. So Warner and Shaw are back in favour again and have been given permission to do Beckett's Happy Days. In return, one imagines, this won't be a total reinvention of the play, so all sides will be, more or less, happy.

The National seem oddly keen that you see it and have sent us two offers to pass on to you. We told them what a lot of ruffians and philistines you were but they wouldn't listen. So: if you are a student then you can see the play for a fiver and they throw in a bottle of Corona. The wedge of lime costs £35 though. (Only joking about the lime.) If you're sadly not a student, but you're a friend of Beckett you can still get in for £15. Not a personal friend, I presume. Just, you know, someone who likes Beckett. Not that you have to prove that. You don't have to recite Not I or anything to get the cheap ticket. Details of how to claim are below. Students to the left, friends to the right. Click on the thumbnails to bring them up full size.

We're guessing that if you mention that you came across this offer on Encore Theatre Magazine, they might do this again, so dropping our name can't hurt us or you.

Let's just hope it's good.

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Good news obviously and am cerainly looking forward to seeing it but I heard that they had really wanted to do another Beckett but were still refused permission.

Unfortuantely can't remember which one... any ideas if this is the case, or not?
The original plan was for Shaw and Maggie Smith to do "Godot". Thank God it never happened (for many reasons), but chief among them is that this glorious, immaculate production of this great play has been created. Shaw is extraordinary: her greatest performance since Medea.
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