In “Grey Gardens” as in “Happy Days” nothing is moving. The dramaturgy is the situation itself. Beckett’s play sounds like a transcript of what the Bouvier-Beale ladies are uttering at the Maysles brothers’ documentary. Both are contemporary non-tragedies with a common denominator: institutionalisation through choice. Two dead spaces. A hill and a house like institutions of an indefinable purpose, both their occupants seem like they have chosen. Inside those lay imperfect bodies. Winnie and Willie, Edith and Edie, with all their majesty of secluded womanhood, spin through the loneliness of existence, stumbling continually on the reality of present time. They cling desperately on their old things, in order to share not the past, but their existential awkwardness. They are living in a closed circuit of anguish.

Winnie’s longing for the first dance is Edith’s and Edie’s longing for the beauty that was swept by old age, it’s like the realization of the submission to fate, ie to death. The joy coming from the presence of the other is indicative of both stories, it is actually the joy we derive from the feeling that we are indispensable for the other. Winnie has Willie and Edith has Edie. They are not looking for something, they just exist. “Nothing is more real than nothing” Beckett says and we understand all the desperation of his angst.

“Happy Days in Grey Gardens” are inspired by three different sources. Beckett’s play, the dialogues of Grey Garden’s heroines (as they have been recorded in the documentary) and stories and texts by the actors of the production. Nine women of different age groups function as nine different angles mirroring the same relationship: they are like different fragments of the same identity, like nine different mechanisms of the void. New personae indestructible in the immovability of time and the decay of space.

The duration of the play is a full day. From the morning that the women are born/awaken to the night that they die/sleep. Depending on the time of the day the light and the temperature of the space change: from the morning chill to the heat of the midday and from the mellowness of the afternoon to the cold of the night. It’s like this whole day is a lifetime.

Like Winnie, Edie and Edith the play places the heroines in a timeless present time and an indefinable space. Though these women are totally rooted, their roles are ambivalent. What is the nature of their relationship? Why are they there to start with? The interpretation of these questions seems to be elusive all the time not in order to avoid clarity, but in order to let another essence of the meaning arise. The common ground of the two plays, if we take aside the characters, the time and the place, is existential embarrassment or simply Beckett’s “nothing”.

There is someone else with them, though: a man, whose presence is inspired by Willie and the gardener-postman of Grey Gardens. He is the man who brings the news from the outside world. He is their only connection with external reality. 
Who are these verbose women who are standing like that without moving about the furniture in this enormous mansion?
Why can’t they move?
And how about all these cats around them, who is feeding them?
Is it really a mansion or is it some kind of institution?
This man that visits them is he the postman, the gardener or some friend?
Maybe he is a past lover or perhaps their son?
Why are they sunbathing and where do they get all this self-confidence?
What are all those secrets they’ve been hiding?
How many of them are mothers and how many are daughters?
Why don’t they ever remember their exercise routine and how come they sing so out of tune?
Where is the rest of their body?
Is it true that they possess fabulous riches?
Is there anything that really scares them?
What kind of wood-eating insects are munching the floor and how come they are making all this noise?
Are they also enjoying the delight of being?
Is there anything that really scares them?