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Positive Reactions for Driving Miss Daisy, which Opened Last Week at the Wyndham's Theatre

Friday, 7th Oct 2011  

Previews began last week for “Driving Miss Daisy” at the Wyndham’s Theatre and there have been plenty of reviews coming in for the James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave-starrer following last night’s official opening.  It seems that the critics have warmed to the production, dishing out praise to the show’s stars and noting that the production is not just a simple re-production of Alfred Uhry’s 1980s classic.

“Driving Miss Daisy” tells the story of the title character Miss Daisy Werthan (Redgrave) and her relationship with her African American chauffer Hoke Colburn (Jones). Daisy is an elderly Jewish woman and we are able to witness the interactions between the pair over a period of time, from which we are given a unique glimpse into Daisy’s worldview and her life.

It was first staged back in 1987 and is best known as the movie starring Morgan Freeman as Colburn. This production first opened its doors at the John Golden Theatre in New York in 2010 and has been a successful venture for the acting pair, with Jones returning to the West End following 2009’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Novello Theatre.

First up is the review from the Telegraph, who compares it favourably with Alfred Uhry’s original, describing the original as “both slight and sentimental”. In reference to the new version they say that they were “amused, gripped and often deeply moved by the piece”, describing Jones’s work as “acting of greatness” and Regrave as “at her absolute best in this production”.

Meanwhile, the Guardian also focuses on the show’s stars: “What [Jones] brings out is the quiet dignity of a man who has survived life's humiliations but knows his own worth” and, speaking about his co-star: “Redgrave also evokes beautifully the gradual declension into old age”.

Finally, Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail describes the play thusly: “This is a pleasing evening of bespoke acting, particularly from Mr Jones. Restrained, redeeming. Worth catching.”

“Driving Miss Daisy” continues at the Wyndham’s Theatre until Saturday 17th December 2011, with “Christmas with The Rat Pack” following until January, when that becomes “The Rat Pack Live From Vegas”.

Article filed under: Theatre News | Plays |