Monday, 25 February 2013

Driving Miss Daisy (theatre)

I'm delighted that the lights are coming back on at the Devonshire Park Theatre after the theatre's annual dark period for refurbishment and sprucing up. Following the extravaganza that was Sleeping Beauty, the first play on offer is one I considered going to see at Brighton's Theatre Royal last year, Driving Miss Daisy.

Now the national tour, which has won the whatsonstage.com Award for Best Revival, is on its way to Eastbourne. The production stars Gwen Taylor as the eponymous Miss Daisy. I remember seeing her assured performance in Brighton as Mrs Corden beautifully upstaging Matt Lucas in Prick Up Your Ears a few years ago. Gwen is joined by Don Warrington as Hoke Colburn and Ian Porter as Boolie Werthan. The play was originally written by Alfred Uhry and was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning 1989 film which starred Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman and Dan Ackroyd.

Driving Miss Daisy is the charming, poignant and utterly compelling tale of the unlikely, long-lasting friendship that blossoms between a prickly, elderly southern matriarch, Daisy Werthan and her kind-hearted chauffeur, Hoke Colburn who is employed by Daisy’s son Boolie Werthan. As the wheels turn and the decades roll by against a backdrop of prejudice, inequality and civil unrest, the pair slowly transcend their differences and ultimately grow to rely on each other far more than either ever expected.

Devonshire Park Theatre, Mon 25th - Sat 30th Mar, 19:45.
Wed and Sat matinees, 14:30.
Tickets various prices, available online, by calling 01323 412000 or in person at the Box Office and the Tourist Information Centre.


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