West End Daisy Pulls Off Five Months Early, 8 JunDate: 24 May 2002
The West End revival of Denise Deegan's Daisy Pulls It Off has posted early closing notices at the Lyric Theatre. While the original 1983 production ran for some three years in the West End, the new production will close five months early after a run of only seven weeks. The play opened on 29 April 2002 (previews from 18 April) and had been booking up to 2 November; it will now close on 8 June.
Set in 1927, the comedy explores class struggles and coming-of-age pangs, as it follows the trials and tribulations of young Daisy Meredith. The girl from a working class family has won a scholarship to Grangewood School for girls but has to battle against her upper-crust peers to stay in the school and on the hockey team.
The Daisy Pulls It Off cast features Hannah Yelland (as Daisy) as well as Anna Francolini (Monica), Katherine Heath (Trixie), Katherine Igoe (Clare), Emma Stansfield, Amber Edlin, Gailie Morrison, Helen Brampton, Louise McCarthy, Jenni Maitland, Maxine Gregory and Jane Mark. Charlotte West-Oram and Roger Heathcott reprise their roles - as the headmistress and Russian music teacher respectively - from the original production.
The revival reunites play's original creative team, headed by director David Gilmore, with design by Glenn Willoughby (recreated by Terry Parsons) and lighting by Brian Harris. It is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group and David Ian for Clear Channel Entertainment.
In the 1980s, following its three-year West End run at the Gielgud Theatre, Daisy Pulls It Off also enjoyed a two-year UK regional tour. Since then, it has proved to be a perennial favourite for amateur dramatics societies and, unsurprisingly, girls schools' drama departments.
- by Terri Paddock