Judith Lucy takes on the demanding role of Winnie in Melbourne Theatre Company’s Happy Days


Despite all the grins, Winnie is channeled in part through Lucy’s irrepressible comedic persona. It’s a deliberately acerbic performance, with a stronger passive-aggressive streak than the characters usually settle for, and thus potentially more entertaining, especially in the low-key marital confrontation with Willy, and in metadramatic moments.

Lucy’s elastic and expressive face, aided by the dimly lit design, also makes her neck performance a battleground against fleeting pain—if not downright poignant, at least a strangely familiar bleakness , punctuated by high-pitched tones of suppressed anger.

Whether Winnie can angrily fight the passing of the light in this way without compromising the pain vulnerability underlying her resilience, I’m not sure.

Perhaps director Petra Kalive could risk cracking this classic to meet the challenges of contemporary feminism by adopting a consistent, wholly self-conscious, anachronistic tone.


Given the scale of the task at hand here, it’s a brave performance that’s not bound by tradition, and brings new insights into a production every theater lover wants to see.

It’s clear that Judith Lucy has the talent and creative intelligence for a stage career, and if Joanna Murray-Smith were to write her a script, I’d see it right away.

Booklist is book editor Jason Steger’s weekly newsletter for book lovers. Receive every Friday.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *