I was kindly gifted tickets to see Driving Miss Daisy at the York Theatre Royal from Artspod. The play was one hour and forty five minutes including the interval. Driving Miss Daisy is on until the 29th June. Call the box office on 01904 623568 or visit the website at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk
The play is based on the famous film, Driving Miss Daisy. I don’t recall ever seeing it so I had nothing to base my views on comparatively with the film. Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Award-winning comedy-drama is undoubtably a moving story. Based on developing relationships and changing times the play centres around the American Civil Rights movement. There is a cast of three, Paula Wilcox as Miss Daisy, Maurey Richards as Hoke and Cory English as Daisy’s son Boolie.
The play is very cleverly produced with music being used to evoke emotions and move forward in time. The set is fairly static with the key feature being the car which impressively moves . There is some projection to show various news clippings from prominent points in history. I really likes this and it isn’t something I have seen before. The historical context of the play as well as the subtle changes in the characters costumes and movements supported the move through two decades.
Daisy Werthan is an opinionated Jewish widow, with fire in her belly. Having lived a life where money isn’t always something that she has had, she is very aware of the differences wealth allows. At the start of the play she writes-off her car and despite her clear protests her son employs a driver for her, Hoke Colburn. Daisy and Hoke start off very professionally with Daisy being embarrassed at having a driver. As the decades progress their friendship emerges, the subtlety is well done and Daisy softens in her interactions with him. She initially could barely suffer a journey with him and by the end of the play Daisy is happy to spend time in his company and there is a really touching scene where Hoke feeds her some cake at the end. Daisy’s relationship with her son also moves on over the decades and is sad to see at times with the realisation that the changes in dynamics with the power shifting from mother to son as the play progresses.
Parts of the play left me in tears. Other parts were laugh out loud funny. The exploration of family dynamics, strong bonds and the lifelong relationships that evolve over time was lovely to see.
There is a post show discussion on Tuesday 18 June with the cast and creative team.
Thank you again to Artspod for the invitation. They are a great source of information about what is on the stage. Check them out at http://www.artspod.net/