Driving Miss Daisy at the Theatre Royal Newcastle
Last night I saw a wonderful production of Driving Miss Daisy at Newcastle's Theatre Royal, starring Siân Phillips, Derek Griffiths and Teddy Kempner.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry, Driving Miss Daisy affectionately covers the 25-year relationship between a wealthy, head-strong Southern lady (Siân Phillips) and her equally strong-willed chauffeur Hoke (Derek Griffiths).
The chemistry between these two seasoned actors was electric. Derek Griffith's comic timing was fantastic and paired with Siân's poetic delivery of her lines made for enticing viewing. Siân's southern drawl brought a realism to the performance that is rare to find.
Derek Griffith's performance was a total surprise to me. His seemingly effortless portrayal of Hoke was exceptional. You felt Hoke's pride, his honesty and his realist sense of humour.
Teddy Kempner was brilliant as Miss Daisy's son. His larger-than-life portrayal of her long suffering son gave the play light and shade.
The simple, stripped back, but ingenious set allowed the actors performances to shine.
The play took me took me on a journey of emotions - from elation, through frustration to heart-felt sadness.
Driving Miss Daisy is a tender and intimate portrayal of true friendship set against the backdrop of the American civil rights movement, inequality and racial prejudice. This show is a classic - performed by consummate professionals and well worth seeing.