Driving Miss Daisy Opens at West End's Wyndham's Theatre Oct. 5

By Mark Shenton
05 Oct 2011

The recent Broadway revival of Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy officially opens at the West End's Wyndam's Theatre Oct. 5, following previews that began Sept. 26, for a run through Dec. 17.



The Broadway trio of Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones and Boyd Gaines all reprise their performances in David Esbjornson's production that originally ran at the John Golden Theatre in 2010-11.

Redgrave plays Daisy Werthan, with Jones as Hoke Coleburn, the chauffeur hired by her son Boolie Werthan (Gaines) when she is deemed too old to drive herself anymore. In the play, what begins as a troubled and hostile pairing soon blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them.

The production features designs by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski, music by Mark Bennett and sound by Christopher Cronin. It is being brought to the West End by Jed Bernstein and Adam Zotovich.

Uhry's play debuted Off-Broadway in 1987 at Playwrights Horizons, and two years later was made into a film starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman. Uhry won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and the film was named Best Picture. The play was previously seen in the West End in 1988 at the Apollo Theatre starring the late Wendy Hiller in the title role.

Redgrave, who was nominated for a Tony Award for her Broadway performance in the play, was last seen on the London stage at the National Theatre, reprising another prior Broadway turn in Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, for which she had also been Tony-nominated. Recent film credits include "Miral," "The Whistleblower," "Anonymous" and "Coriolanus."

Jones was last seen on the London stage reprising his Broadway performance as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He won Tony Awards for the Broadway productions of The Great White Hope and Fences and a Tony nomination for the revival of On Golden Pond. Other Broadway credits include Master Harold and the Boys, Of Mice and Men and The Iceman Cometh. Film credits include "The Great White Hope" (for which he received an Oscar nomination), "Dr. Strangelove," "Coming To America," "The Hunt for Red October," "Patriot Games," "Clear and Present Danger" and "Field of Dreams." On television his credits include "Gabriel's Fire" and "Heat Wave," receiving Emmy Awards for both, "The Defenders," "Two and a Half Men" and "House." He is well known for his voiceover work with perhaps the most prominent roles being Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" films and the voice of Mufasa in Disney's "The Lion King."

Gaines is a four-time Tony winner for Gypsy, Contact, She Loves Me and The Heidi Chronicles.

Esbjornson previously worked in London when he directed Rob Lowe in A Few Good Men (Haymarket). Other directorial credits include The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Perestroika, Resurrection Blues, Gabriel, Trumpery, Molly Ivins and How? How? Why? Why? Why? He has also served as artistic director of Classic Stage Company in New York City and Seattle Repertory Theatre.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 482 5125, or visit www.daisywestend.com.