Bruce Arnold

Critic of Public Affairs, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

Shaw inspires in a terrible world

Happy Days, Abbey Theatre

Samuel Beckett told himself, in a manuscript note for 'Happy Days', to make the play 'more vague'.

To this end, he cut out references to nuclear war. They might have explained its desolate landscape in the centre of which, up to her waist, sits Winnie.

The dusty rocks spread, brilliantly lit, across the Abbey stage. The scene is shot through with the loud jangle of the alarm bell that regulates the empty day and brings on the hideous night. Read More...