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Daytona (Birmingham)

Annette Nuttals reviews Daytona as it arrives at the Birmingham Rep for one week only. Maureen Lipman, Harry Shearer and John Bowe star.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Maureen Lipman

In an apartment in New York, septuagenarians Elli and Joe are happily spending their days preparing for a dance competition. Everything is right in their world, until they receive an unexpected visit from Joe's brother Billy. Why has he turned up now and what does he want? As the evening progresses we find out the answers to this tale. There are many years of history to cover and questions to answer.

John Bowe (Billy) gives an outstanding performance, going through the spectrum of emotions from happiness to tormented soul. Joe is the steady, dependable husband who has had his share of drama and is ready to lead a normal life. Harry Shearer, as Joe, captures this character and adds a dash of determination. Maureen Lipman as Elli is a delight to watch; her character has more to it than meets the eye, the different aspects of her life are slowly revealed.

The acting pedigree of Oliver Cotton shows through in his writing, beautifully capturing the minutiae of day to day life and strong characterisation through the script. This story takes a magnifying glass to three lives, how they are linked, and how one man's actions affects them all. There are many layers to the play: deception, honesty, guilt, loyalty and love. Tension builds and you get the desire to discover the secrets of Elli, Joe and Billy. All of this combines to create an engaging play.

- Annette Nuttall