Driving Miss Daisy (Bath - tour)
Gwen Taylor takes on the mantel of the feisty Jewish widow persuaded by her son to take on a chauffeur, it is against all she stands for and over time we see the social barriers sliding and a friendship appear. Don Warrington as Hoke Coleburn is in charge as the dignified, persistent and devoted friend who stays with Miss Daisy into old age as they become linked by their interdependence and friendship over some of the hardest years in America’s social history.
Taylor creates a wonderful Daisy, sharp and acerbic barely tolerating those around her, a retired school teacher who seems only to relate to others as if pupils in her class. Warrington matches this performance with a cool, respectful and utterly loyal Hoke, standing by and accepting life, his outburst at not being invited properly to the Luther King dinner reflecting a man of great character and self knowledge.
The scenic design from John Lee Beatty allows the story to unfurl without clutter, great projection and a witty revolve creates a world that moves effortlessly through time, highly effective without ever letting the narrative falter.
Whilst the essence of the play remains semi autobiographical and in some ways the anecdotal friendship a little too neat leaving much unexplored; on this occasion it is the performances that tower far above what is unsaid and make this production totally engaging.