An actress (Sonia Kwek) and a dancer (Neo Yan Zong) meet in Happy Waiting, a new play written by Beverly Yuen, inspired by Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days and Waiting for Godot. Choreographer/ dance artist Bernice Lee is making her theatre directorial debut with Happy Waiting. This combination is exciting and creatively stimulating for a text-based physical theatre performance!
Vicky (Sonia Kwek) is trapped in a mound, but in a cheerful spirit, with only her limbs and head seen. In the mound, Vicky enters into a series of memories, imaginations and recollections of stories told by her folks when she was young. Often, she speaks to her husband Victor as she recalls the happy days of their dating and marriage. However, she is not acknowledged with any response. She thinks— perhaps, her husband is busy. Thus, she sings, dances with her limbs and plays games to occupy time. She is constantly “visited” by Bobo (Neo Yan Zong) who dances past her frequently but does not seem to respond to her. Is he her memory, imagination, or someone from her life?
We follow through the life of Vicky as she passes through the routine of waking up to her alarm, brushing teeth, and making breakfast for herself and her unseen husband. She is totally comfortable and joyous in her routine, maintaining an electrifying positivity within the confines of her limited mobility, hoping that Victor will respond to her one day.
Happy Waiting is an absurdist play that portrays the situations when one is trapped and immobilised with a tint of dark humour.
While Vicky, stuck in the mound, is waiting for her husband to return, the play reflects any life situations when we are stranded, wanting to move on but afraid to do so, and thus choose [could be subconsciously] to stay in the comfort of a familiar, routine and nondescript condition. The absurdity of the characters onstage allows the audience to contemplate and ponder about their lives, be it their studies, career, relationship or family matters.
- Beverly Yuen
Happy Waiting was developed under Centre 42's Basement Workshop (now known as the Creation Residency). Read about Basement Workshop here.
Documentation of the process