Happy Days

1 May — 10 Jun 2023

Southbank Theatre, The Sumner

The hilarious Judith Lucy stars in this absurdist masterpiece, acclaimed as one of the greatest plays ever written.

Approx. 1 hour 35 minutes with no interval

Book Now
This is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars

‘Strangely beautiful.’

This is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars

‘Beguiling eeriness and emotional impact.’

Australian Book Review
This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘Judith Lucy is wonderfully disturbing.’

The Guardian
This is rated 4 out of 5 stars

‘Darkly sparkling humour.’



Buried up to her waist, but never questioning why, Winnie is determined to carry on as best she can. Awoken by a piercing bell, she is accompanied only by the contents of her purse and her husband Willie. Willie doesn’t share Winnie’s predicament, but he is just as stuck. Despite the unrelenting sun and the limitations of her current – and eventually, sinking – situation, Winnie remains adamant that this is a happy day; these are all happy days.

Comedian Judith Lucy takes on the role of Winnie, the determined optimist in the face of an endless existential crisis. Acclaimed as one of the best plays ever written, Samuel Beckett's masterpiece Happy Days is an absurdist, tragicomic tour-de-force – that just happens to be a pitch-perfect commentary on our times.

A 20th-century classic, Happy Days was written more than 60 years ago but has never been more resonant, its absurdity acutely reflecting our reality. Director Petra Kalive (Laurinda) leads Judith Lucy and Hayden Spencer in this wildly funny, not to be missed production.


  • Wheelchair Accessible

  • Hearing Assistance

  • Audio Described

  • Tactile Tour

  • Open Captioning

  • Auslan Interpreted

Performance Type Performance Date(s)
Audio Described
by Vision Australia
Saturday 20 May at 2pm
Tuesday 23 May at 6.30pm
Tactile Tour
by Vision Australia
Saturday 20 May, 2pm (Tactile tour commences at 1pm)
Open Captioning
via screen
Saturday 27 May at 2pm
Auslan Interpreted
by Auslan Stage Left
Tuesday 30 May at 6.30pm
Artwork for Judith Lucy

Judith Lucy


Judith Lucy is a bestselling, award-winning writer, actor and comedian. She has appeared on stage and screen in various roles and has toured her stand-up comedy shows extensively around Australia, selling out huge venues across the country since the 1990s. She has been awarded two Green Room Awards, a Helpmann Award, The People’s Choice Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and two Age Critics Awards. Judith writes a film review column for The Monthly, she is the bestselling author of three devastatingly honest, hilarious books, and has created two ABC series: Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey and Judith Lucy Is All Woman, which were both nominated for AACTA awards. Her third book, Turns Out I’m Fine: How Not to Fall Apart was released in 2021 and was nominated for the Australian Book Buyers Award, an award she previously won for The Lucy Family Alphabet. Judith’s impactful podcast Overwhelmed and Living was released at the end of 2022, directly following on from the previous series Overwhelmed and Dying. Happy Days is her debut show with Melbourne Theatre Company.

Current as of April 2023.

Hayden Spencer

Hayden Spencer


Hayden Spencer's Melbourne Theatre Company credits include The Odd Couple, Jasper Jones, Elling, The Beast and Cyrano De Bergerac. Other theatre credits include Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Michael Cassel Group); King in Kooza (Cirque du Soleil); Dralion (Cirque du Soleil); numerous shows for both Queensland Theatre and La Boite Theatre including End Of The Rainbow (Queensland Theatre) for which he was nominated for a Helpmann Award. Hayden is also a recipient of the Gold Matilda Theatre Award for 2001, 2003 and 2004. Screen credits include Deadloch (Amazon), Superwog (Princess Pictures, Theo Saidden Nathan Saidden), Tall Man (Real TV, Leticia Cáceres), Mystery Road (David Jowsey Films, Ivan Sen) and Judy and Punch (VICE/Blue Tongue, Mirrah Foulkes).

Current as of April 2023.

Artwork for Petra Kalive

Petra Kalive


Petra Kalive has previously directed Laurinda, Touching the Void, The Lifespan of a Fact, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes (Green Room Award nominated Outstanding Direction & Outstanding Production), Hungry Ghosts, Beached and Melbourne Talam (Green Room Award-nominated Best Director) for Melbourne Theatre Company, as well as the live online reading of Pandora. She has also worked for Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Arena Theatre Company, Complete Works Theatre Company, St Martins Youth Arts Centre, Monash University Centre for Theatre and Performance, La Trobe Performing Arts Department and the Victorian College of the Arts. Independent directorial credits include Emilia (Essential Theatre/Arts Centre Melbourne); Taxithi (fortyfivedownstairs – Green Room Award-nominated Best Director); Oil Babies, which she also wrote (Lab Kelpie – shortlisted for the NSW Premier Literary Awards); and a musical adaptation of My Brilliant Career (Monash University). Petra was Artistic Director of Union House Theatre from 2014–19 and Associate Director for Melbourne Theatre Company from 2020–22.

Current as of April 2023.


Eugyeene Teh

Set & Costume Designer

Eugyeene Teh is a theatre maker and designer across various forms. Selected design credits include Laurinda, Endgame, Straight White Men, Hungry Ghosts, Abigail’s Party (Melbourne Theatre Company); Die Troerinnen (Burgtheater, Vienna – Theatretreffen 2023 shortlist); Blaque Showgirls and Meme Girls (Malthouse Theatre); Titus Andronicus (Bell Shakespeare); Golden Square (RISING Festival); Lady Eats Apple (Melbourne Festival, Back to Back Theatre); Book of Exodus Part II (Fraught Outfit); Exil and The Howling Girls (Sydney Chamber Opera, Carriageworks, Tokyo Festival, Music Theater Now Rotterdam); The Seen and Unseen (Asia TOPA) and Shanghai Mimi (Sydney Festival); and with Little Ones Theatre, The Happy Prince trilogy, Merciless Gods (with Griffin Theatre Company and Arts Centre Melbourne), Dracula and Dangerous Liaisons (MTC NEON, Brisbane MELT, Darwin Festival). Eugyeene is the recipient of a Green Room Award with several nominations, three Sydney Theatre Award nominations, the Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch Fellowship and a Besen Family Artist Program placement.

Current as of April 2023.

Artwork for Paul Lim

Paul Lim

Lighting Designer

Paul Lim is director of Additive – a Melbourne-based company providing innovative lighting design and technical solutions to the arts, entertainment and installation sectors. Lighting and technical installation highlights include Flash Forward (City of Melbourne); Neon Playground (Melbourne Zoo); The Heart @ Melbourne Connect (University of Melbourne); The Brain Light Sculpture (Monash Brain Park); Breathing Space (Genevieve Lacey & National Museum of Australia). Lighting design highlights include premiere seasons of The Lifespan of a Fact (Melbourne Theatre Company); NewRetro, Flux Job and international touring seasons of Split (Lucy Guerin Inc); The Magic Flute (New Zealand Opera); Hair: The 50th Anniversary Australian Tour (Peace Productions & Sydney Opera House); Hot Brown Honey (Quiet Riot); Nirbhaya (Assembly, Riverside Studios & Poorna Jagannathan). Paul's depth of knowledge has provided integrated solutions for ongoing clients around the world including MONA FOMA, Auckland Arts Festival, City of Greater Geelong and City of Melbourne.

Current as of April 2023.

J David Franzke

J. David Franzke

Composer & Sound Designer

J David Franzke has composed and designed sound for numerous Melbourne Theatre Company productions including The Heartbreak Choir, The Architect, The Odd Couple, The Beast, Australia Day, The Joy of Text, The Grenade and August: Osage County. He has also designed sound and composed for Because the Night, Cloudstreet, Melancholia and Picnic at Hanging Rock (Malthouse Theatre); Away (Sydney Theatre Company and Malthouse Theatre); The Wonderful World of Dissocia and Venus and Adonis (Sydney Theatre Company); Come Away with Me to the End of the World, Song, Intimacy and Holiday (Ranters Theatre). He has won six Greenroom Awards for Composition and Sound Design for Because the Night, Melancholia, Away, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Pompeii L.A and Skin Flick.

Current as of April 2023.

Artwork for Xanthe Beesley

Xanthe Beesley

Movement Consultant

Xanthe Beesley is a movement director and performance maker with a background in theatre and dance. Her recent credits include Laurinda, Touching the Void, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes (Melbourne Theatre Company); Emilia: The Play (Essential Theatre/Arts Centre Melbourne); The Grief Trilogy (VIMH/La Mama); My Brilliant Career (Monash University); Nora: A Doll’s House, things we should talk about, The Lonely Crowd, Ida (Union House Theatre); Oil Babies (Lab Kelpie/Darebin Speakeasy); Ricercar (Present Tense/Theatre Works); Body Move Space (Footscray Community Arts Centre) and performer/collaborator In Plan (Michelle Heaven/Castlemaine State Festival). She is the Artistic Director at Union House Theatre and has worked with and taught for some of Australia's leading arts and cultural organisations including the Victorian College of the Arts, La Mama Theatre, Melbourne Fringe, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and KITE Theatre – where she was resident movement artist. Xanthe holds a Master of Theatre Practice from the VCA and was a participant in the 2019 Women in Theatre Program at Melbourne Theatre Company.

Current as of April 2023.

Artwork for Amy Hume

Amy Hume

Voice & Text Coach

Amy Hume is a voice and dialect coach for theatre and screen, and Lecturer in Voice at the Victorian College of the Arts. Recent theatre credits include Bernhardt/Hamlet, Cyrano, The Sound Inside, Fun Home (Melbourne Theatre Company); Blue, Blessed Union, Jungle and the Sea (Belvoir), An American in Paris (Australian Ballet and GBS); Six the Musical Australia, Billy Elliot Australia (LWAA); White Pearl (Sydney Theatre Company); Merrily We Roll Along (Hayes) and Fangirls (Queensland Theatre/Belvoir). Recent coaching for screen includes Bad Behaviour (Stan); New Gold Mountain (SBS) and The Secrets She Keeps (Network 10). Amy previously taught BFA Acting and MFA Voice students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art from 2015 to 2019. She is a Designated Linklater Teacher and currently serves on the Board of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA), the international organisation for voice and dialect practitioners.

Current as of April 2023.

Artwork for Keegan Bragg

Keegan Bragg

Assistant Director

Keegan Bragg is a director and theatre maker with a Masters of Theatre (Directing) from the Victorian College of the Arts. In 2023 he will be a graduate director with Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre’s Graduate Program, with whom he completed a directing secondment on Iphigenia in Splott in 2021. He is of Māori/Pakeha descent. Keegan's passion for theatre began growing up in Ōtautahi (Christchurch), New Zealand, and developed through making independent theatre in Pōneke (Wellington). In 2019 he directed Shadow (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and served as Artistic Director of Long Cloud Youth Theatre, based in Pōneke. With a focus on text-based performance, Keegan's theatre meets modern audiences where they are – staging their horrors and anxieties in an intimate way that feels sleek and direct, and is generous with empathy and emotion. He is thrilled to be assistant directing on Happy Days as part of the MinterEllison Future Directors Initiative.

Current as of April 2023.

Learn more about Happy Days

The Sumner

140 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank, Victoria 3006