Daisy Resized.

Siân Phillips  Derek Griffiths

Driving Miss Daisy

By Alfred Uhry
Directed by Richard Beecham

Festival TheatreTicketsPrice: from £15

Overview

 

An understated, quietly sublime production, profoundly enhanced by Ms Phillips’s luminous presence.

Daily Express
 

Full of delightful scenes… Siân Phillips and Derek Griffiths give virtuosic performances.

Sunday Express
 

Tender and intimate

The Stage

When elderly widow Daisy Werthan crashes her car one day in 1948, her son hires her a chauffeur, an African-American named Hoke Colburn. Daisy and Hoke’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, but as times change across a 25-year backdrop of prejudice, inequality and civil unrest, a profound and life-altering friendship blossoms in this acclaimed comedy drama.

From its landmark off-Broadway production in 1987 to the remarkable success of the 1989 film version, which was the winner of four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Driving Miss Daisy has touched the hearts of millions worldwide.

From her multi award-winning performance in I, Claudius to the epic film Dune, from a Tony-nominated performance of Marlene on Broadway to Cabaret in the West End, Siân Phillips has enjoyed a dazzling career which spans more than seven decades.

RSC actor Derek Griffiths’ numerous West End credits include the original production of Beauty and the Beast in which he originated the role of Lumière and the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Prologue members booking opens 
Saturday 16 September

Cast & Creatives

Cast

  • Sian Phillips.

    Siân Phillips

    Daisy Werthan
  • Derek Griffiths.

    Derek Griffiths

    Hoke Colburn
  • Teddy Kempner.

    Teddy Kempner

    Boolie Werthan

Creative team

Richard Beecham

Director

Simon Kenny

Designer

Natasha Chivers

Lighting Designer

Jon Nicholls

Sound Designer

Gallery

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Q&A

Q&A WITH SIÂN AND DEREK

During rehearsals the lead actors took a break to answer a few questions about the production.


Siân Phillips

Daisy Werthan is such an iconic role. Is that why you said yes to playing her?

I never know exactly why I choose something, but mainly it's if it's well-written – which of course this play is. I read a few plays and this is the one I thought I'd like to do, plus Richard Beecham [the director] and myself were looking for something to do together again, having worked together before.

From reading that material was there anything that surprised or interested you?

Everything. For instance, I didn't know what things cost in a certain year. We cover more than 20 years in an hour and a half and the geography changes, the landscape changes, buildings change, the cost of things changes, attitudes change, clothes change, cars change – everything changes and the changes in America over those years were huge, even bigger than over here maybe. It's very interesting and it's wonderful to be able to check because we sometimes jump six years in a page. It's very interesting to go to the wall and read what was going on in the background at that time.

Is this the first time you have worked with Derek Griffiths, who plays Hoke Colburn?

It is, yes, and also it's the first time I've worked with the actor who plays my son, Teddy Kempner (who performed in Chichester’s production of Caroline, or Change earlier in Festival 2017), who is wonderful. This profession is so gigantic that having been on the stage for more years than I care to think I still meet people I've never worked with before. It doesn't happen so much in America but it really happens in England, though I don't know why. I've very much enjoying working with Derek and Teddy. They're both marvellous.

Do you drive or do you get driven?

[Laughs] I don't drive so I am driven sometimes. I have a licence but I passed my test and never bothered driving. I live in London and why would you drive in London?


Derek Griffiths

What are you most relishing about playing Hoke Colburn?

It's a pleasant character and I like the history that's attached to it, especially the Civil Rights Movement. For the younger elements of our audience who perhaps don't have much knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement and the division between black and white, it's a good thing for them to learn about. It's also a charming play. It's quite amazing how you get the contrast between the two characters with a huge divide, a huge moat, between them and how friendship joins them together towards the end. It's heart-warming.

Alfred Uhry's play premiered in 1987. What do you feel makes it so enduring?

I think it's the charm of it. Everybody remembers the film and I've met fewer people who have seen the play, but everybody talks about the charm of it and it's all-encompassing. A lot of people who are normally non-theatregoers are telling me they're coming to see it and it's because of the charm and the fact it's an easily digestible piece.

You've worked extensively on both stage and screen. What do you most enjoy about doing theatre?

You're in control. You don't have film editors so you're in control of your own performance from the minute you walk across the stage. You're there without a safety net whereas in television you have the safety net of being able to cut the scene and start again. You can't do that in theatre and what I love about theatre is walking through a scene without that safety net. You are in total and utter control.

Do you drive or do you get driven?

In terms of performing, it's a bit of both – I drive and I'm driven by inspiration from the other artists. That's the joy of coming back to the theatre because it's a real team job.

Competition

Win a Chauffeured Rolls-Royce trip to the theatre

Win a Chauffeured Rolls-Royce trip to the theatre

Travel to the theatre in style to see Driving Miss Daisy with a Chauffeured return trip. The lucky winner will win a pair of tickets to the production and will also be picked up from their home, taken to the theatre and then driven home after the performance in a beautiful Rolls-Royce.

Competition closes 12 Noon Tuesday 21 November.

Please note the prize can only be redeemed once on either the 28 or 29 November 2017. It may not be modified, it is non-transferable, not for sale and not available for children under 18 years of age.

The chauffeured transfer is available only within a 20 mile radius from the Home of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, The Drive, Westhampnett, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0SH.
Thank you to our Principal Partners Rolls-Royce for providing the chauffeured driver.

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Tickets
Running Time
1 hour 50 minutes including the interval