Samuel Beckett has given us some of the most unforgettable theatrical creations of the last hundred years – wondrous vaudevilles of despair and loneliness. But hovering amongst his ruined world is the little voice of a little woman speaking with insistent optimism: Winnie in Happy Days.

She’s half-buried in a mound of earth. Her husband lives in a hole in the ground behind her. The sun beats down stronger every day. She has a revolver in her handbag in case it all gets too much – and often it very nearly does. But there’s always the chance that, despite all the obstacles, love might still conquer her little mountain.

If the peak of an actress’ career is to be buried up to her neck in a mound of dirt and still glory in life, then who but Julie Forsyth is up to the task? Malthouse Melbourne’s Artistic Director and Company B prodigal son Michael Kantor directed.

Then they came to Belvoir St for this tour de force of tragic clowning.


Peter Carroll
Julie Forsyth


By Samuel Beckett
Director Michael Kantor
Set & Costume Designer Anna Cordingley
Lighting Designer Paul Jackson
Production Dramaturg Maryanne Lynch
Sound Designer Russell Goldsmith
Stage Manager Claire Bourke
Assistant Stage Manager Chris Richardson
Sound Operator Jeremy Silver


The Malthouse production – the best I’ve seen by director Michael Kantor – is a brilliant and fresh realisation of Beckett’s text, at once respectful and boldly imaginative. And, most importantly, it’s deeply felt.

The Australian Review

Forsyth – ironic, funny, despairing, heart-rendingly brave – finds every nuance in the fragile rhythms of Beckett’s prose, creating a performance of limpid clarity. Carroll crawls around the set like a broken clown, and even when not visible he is palpably present. He almost steals the show with just seven lines.

The Australian Review