Poignant friendship is driven by a cast of brilliant actors

Gwen Taylor (Daisy Werthan) & Don Warrington (Hoke Coleburn) in Driving Miss Daisy National Tour - Photo Nicholas Dawkes
Gwen Taylor (Daisy Werthan) & Don Warrington (Hoke Coleburn) in Driving Miss Daisy National Tour - Photo Nicholas Dawkes

Driving Miss Daisy,

Devonshire Park Theatre

Devonshire Park Theatre opened its doors for the new season on Monday with some of the best acting ever seen on the stage there.

Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhry’s great play Driving Miss Daisy has reached Eastbourne for a week long run and is a real joy to watch.

This three-hander is loosely based on Uhry’s own grandmother and the black chauffeur Hoke Coleburn really existed.

The play spans 25 years and the touching friendship that develops between the old lady and her chauffeur is touchingly portrayed by Gwen Taylor and Don Warrington.

The action is played out over a background of racism, which is subtly portrayed.

You realise how bad it was in the USA when Miss Daisy’s son Boolie says he cannot accompany her to a Martin Luther King banquet she has excitedly bought the tickets for because he would lose business and influential people in his life would no longer speak to him.

Boolie is well acted by Ian Porter, but it is Gwen Taylor who is so magnificent in the way she visibly ages before your eyes just by her mannerisms.

The same applies to Don Warrington as her faithful chauffeur and friend.

This production is acted out on a simple set designed by John Lee Beatty, with back projections.

It is run without an interval so the whole thing flows beautifully without any break in the action.

By Amanda Wilkins