Mona Foma 2021 is something everyone is looking forward to, especially after a year without many of the festivals and events the community has come to know and love.
Though Mona Foma will look different this year, spread across both Launceston and Hobart and between quite a few different venues, the festival will still be the same quirky and cool event to attend.
One of the must sees is Jane Longhurst's work in Happy Days. The play, written by Samuel Beckett, tells the story of Winnie, a middle-aged woman who is trapped in a mound.
"I felt that was very evocative," Longhurst said.
The actor said the idea for the performance started two years ago on a professional development trip in New York, when she ran into Brian Ritchie - curator of Mona Foma - at a production of Happy Days.
"It turns out Brian Ritchie is really into Beckett," she said.
The pair started talking and that is when the idea of bringing Happy Days alive and to Tasmanian's was born.
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However, this adaption of the play would be different in that it would be performed in many different locations, changing the feel of the story each time.
"It will be exciting. It will really test me, but it will be exciting each time," Longhurst said.
The actor said she felt the story was relatable with everyone feeling trapped or isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Happy Days was as topical as ever, particularly coming out of a pandemic."
The actor and director, Robert Jarman, met twice a week during the pandemic - but in a COVID safe way - to pour over the text and what informed Winnie's character.
"Winnie is a survivor and is in the most extraordinary predicament," Longhurst said.
"[She] is always trying to give herself the best chance to be sane in a very unusual set of circumstances."
The actor said the character of Winnie has been with her day and night since delving into Happy Days.
"Come and meet Winnie and Willie, two eccentric characters who will prove to you that even in the darkest of times, there are still happy days," Longhurst said.
See Longhurst doing what she does best, and with four different locations to pick from, there is a time to suit everyone:
- Friday 15 January, 12pm-12.50pm - Civic Square
- Friday 15 January, 5pm-5.50pm - Riverbend Park
- Saturday 16 January, 11am-11.50am - City Park
- Saturday 16 January, 3pm-3.50pm - Princes Square
All performances for Happy Days are free.
Mona Foma will run in Launceston from January 15-17 and Hobart will see it from January 22-24.
For more information visit monafoma.net.au.