The second play in Next Stage’s autumn trilogy of modern writing, Happy Now? shows the flip side of the commitment and married bliss yearned for by Nick and Joe in The Things Good Men Do.
Late 30s, married with kids, her father dying and her mother cantankerous, Kitty has long since forgotten the carefree years of her 20s. In her demanding job with a cancer charity, she barely has time to talk to husband Johnny, who is battling on as a comprehensive school teacher. Off-stage their two young children are depicted as the time-consuming, expensive products of Kitty and Johnny’s marriage. Close friends, Miles and Bea, are drifting unhappily towards divorce, and the apparently blissful relationship enjoyed by gay friend Carl, throws into stark relief the emotional desert into which Kitty and Johnny appear to have drifted.
Struggling to maintain personal freedom along with family, fidelity and a testing job, Kitty feels as though she is simultaneously the rope in a multi-directional tug-of-war contest and the juggler hired to perform a fiendishly difficult balancing act. Then a chance encounter with an attractive and persuasive delegate at a conference starts Kitty questioning her routine lifestyle.
Next Stage actors bring their inimitable style and flair to the witty and incisive language of Happy Now? whilst the in-the-round staging creates the perfect intimate arena in which the play’s fast-paced action can unfold.
Whether single, married or separated there is something for everyone in Lucinda Coxon’s painfully truthful, darkly comic take on contemporary life and how to survive it.
“A richly rewarding gem... the best new play to have arrived on the British stage for at least a year.” Daily Telegraph