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Maxine Peake in Happy Days at the Royal Exchange: first look

Peake stars in Samuel Beckett's play, where her body is submerged underground

Maxine Peake (Winnie)
© Johan Persson

Photos have been released offering a first look at Maxine Peake in Samuel Beckett's play Happy Days, which opens this week at the Royal Exchange in Manchester.

Directed by the venue's artistic director Sarah Frankcom, the piece follows a woman, Winnie, who finds herself stuck, submerged in a large mound. Despite her predicament, she's determined to remain chipper.

Happy Days was first written in 1961, performed first in New York before making its UK premiere at the Royal Court in 1962. Recently it was revived with Juliet Stevenson in the lead role at London's Young Vic.


The production reunites Peake and Frankcom following their critically celebrated versions of Hamlet and A Streetcar Named Desire, both of which ran at the Royal Exchange.

David Crellin stars alongside Peake in Happy Days, which has design by Naomi Dawson, lighting design by Jack Knowles and sound design by Claire Windsor.