Driving Miss Daisy
Palace Theatre, Southend
28th November 2012
After a short West End run in 2011, this warm hearted play tours the UK with a new cast including Gwen Taylor as Daisy Werthan and Don Warrington as Hoke Colburn. The success of the Academy Award winning 1989 film adaptation is widely known, and was true to the original play version, which captures the time, setting and sentiment vital to the truth of this unusual relationship.
The simple, open set pieces used in this touring production are ingeniously incorporated, creating the contained feeling of the essential vehicle without obstruction or over-suggestion, and seamlessly negotiating the swift changes of scene between the house, car and office.
Once the ear becomes accustomed to the drawl of the Atlanta accents, performances are pitched just right. The development of these two strong-headed independents from a reluctant employer/employee relationship into the most blossoming of friendships is the major success of the writing, and these two consummate actors perform the subtle progression with absorbing skill.
A brave but wise choice to keep the over 90 minute piece down to one act, allowing the characterisations and relationship to unravel without interruption. A beautiful story, told captivatingly.