Beckett's 90-minute 1960 play, which reflects the author's despairing view of the creeping futility of life, opened the Lyttelton Theatre in 1976 with Peggy Ashcroft playing the role of Winnie.
In a BBC interview Shaw said of the notoriously difficult role that sees Winnie buried up to her waist and then her neck, “It has been the hardest thing I have had to learn in my life. I spent the winter learning it and despairing often."
Warner and Shaw last worked together at the National on The Powerbook (2002), adapted by Jeanette Winterson from her own novel. Their 2000 production of Medea played both the West End and Broadway, and they last collaborated on the London stage with Warner’s epic Barbican production of Julius Caesar .
At the national Happy Days, which runs in repertory until March 1, is designed by Tom Pye.
For more on the National’s 2007 season, call (0)20 7452 3000.