Happy New (London 2013)

Trafalgar Studio 2
4 – 29 June 2013

by Brendan Cowell

Lisa Dillon
Joel Samuels
William Troughton

Directed by Robert Shaw
Produced by Chris Foxon
Designed by Lily Arnold
Lighting by Johanna Town
Fight Director Kristina Søeborg
Assistant Director Alice Kornitzer
Stage Manager Sarah Rhodes Cannings

‘People don’t really accept chickens, which is wrong, ‘cos we invented the pecking order.’

Following a sensational sell-out run at the Old Red Lion Theatre in 2012, extended to an unprecedented eight weeks, Happy New proudly transfers to Trafalgar Studio 2.

The outback. Danny and Lyle were abandoned by their mother in the chicken coop. Discovered after several months, surrounded only by hens, feathers, pecking and clawing, they are taken into care. Over the years, they’ve become media celebrities. Sultry TV journo Pru has entered their lives.

But now, society is bored with them. It’s New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow, Danny and Lyle must leave care and step out into the world alone for the first time. But are childhood traumas coming home to roost? What’s Pru hatching? Why’s she egging them on? Will they ever eat Nando’s again? And of course, which came first?

Lisa Dillon won the 2003 Ian Charleson Award and Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer. She has appeared in some 20 theatre productions at the National Theatre, the Almeida, the RSC and in the West End. Most recently, she appeared opposite Stephen Mangan in Birthday at the Royal Court and in The Taming of the Shrew at the RSC. She has also been seen regularly on film and TV, notably in Bright Young Things, Cranford and Cambridge Spies.

Brendan Cowell is a multi-award-winning and BAFTA-nominated playwright and screenwriter.

★★★★ ‘Outstanding performances, astonishing writing… A remarkable piece of theatre… unlike anything else on stage. Unmissable.’
(The Public Reviews)

‘Pinter without the pauses… a bravura performance, remarkably expressed.’
Libby Purves (The Times)

‘Audacious, amusing and verbally dazzling… the most verbally arresting play on the London stage… the accomplishment of Robert Shaw’s production.’
Dominic Cavendish (The Telegraph)

‘One of the rawest and most confronting plays currently showing in the West End…a must-see.’
(Australian Times)

‘Laugh-out-loud funny and thought-provoking.’
Lauren Paxman (The Stage)

‘Lyrically dextrous and brutally poetic.’
Tom Wicker (Time Out)

‘Compulsive viewing.’
(TNT Magazine)

‘Littered with darkly comic turns of phrase…Engaging.’
(Evening Standard)

‘An exceptional piece of theatre…fascinating and urgent.’
(British Theatre Guide)

‘This play has it all.’
(Everything Theatre)

‘Wonderfully, the fine cast keep us guessing.’
Dominic Cavendish (The Telegraph)

‘Powerful performances.’
(Official London Theatre)

‘The acting is terrific… Lisa Dillon is spectacular.’
Lauren Paxman (The Stage)

‘Lisa Dillon is great… Joel Samuels and William Troughton impress equally.’
Tom Wicker (Time Out)

‘Flawless performances.’
(Australian Times)

‘…by general agreement, the leading light among stage writers of his generation…’
(Sun Herald, Sydney)

‘Brendan Cowell has a fresh and distinctive voice and he approaches familiar subjects – sibling relations, infidelity – from startling and original angles.’
(Sunday Age, Melbourne)

Happy New has been very generously supported by The Foyle Foundation, The Boris Karloff Charitable Foundation, Mrs Margaret Guido’s Charitable Trust, The Coutts Charitable Trust, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, Kirsten Rausing, Judi Dench, Tom Stoppard, Joanna Lumley, Richard Wilson and Melvyn Bragg.

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