Two-time Tony Award® winner James Earl Jones (Hoke Coleburn), Tony and Oscar® winner Vanessa Redgrave (Daisy Werthan) and four-time Tony Award® winner Boyd Gaines (Boolie Werthan) will star in the critically acclaimed production of Driving Miss Daisy, at the Wyndham’s Theatre from 26 September until 17 December, with press night on 5 October. The play, written by Alfred Uhry and directed by David Esbjornson, enjoyed a record breaking sell-out run on Broadway until 9 April this year. Design is by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting is by Peter Kaczorowski , music by Mark Bennett and sound by Christopher Cronin. Driving Miss Daisy is being produced in the West End by Jed Bernstein and Adam Zotovich.
Driving Miss Daisy was written by Alfred Uhry in 1987 and debuted Off-Broadway at the Playwrights Horizons Theater. Two years later the play was made into a film with Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy. Uhry received an Oscar® for ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’ while the film was awarded ‘Best Picture’.
When Daisy Werthan, a widowed, 72 year-old Jewish woman living in midcentury Atlanta, is deemed too old to drive, her son Boolie hires Hoke Coleburn, an African American man, to serve as her chauffeur. What begins as a troubled and hostile pairing soon blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them.
Multi award winning James Earl Jones was last on stage in the West End in the hit production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre. He has won Tony Awards® for the Broadway productions of The Great White Hope and Fences and a Tony Award® nomination for the revival of On Golden Pond. His other Broadway credits include Master Harold and the Boys, Of Mice and Men and The Iceman Cometh. His film credits include The Great White Hope, for which he received an Oscar®nomination, Dr. Strangelove, Coming To America, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and Field of Dreams. On television his credits include Gabriel’s Fire and Heat Wave, receiving Emmy Awards for both, The Defenders, Two and a Half Men and House. He is well known for his voiceover work with perhaps the most prominent roles being Darth Vader in the Star Wars films and the voice of Mufasa in Disney’s The Lion King.
Vanessa Redgrave played Miss Daisy at the Golden Theatre in New York from October 7, 2010 to April 9, 2011 and was nominated for a Tony Award® for this role in June 2011. She last appeared in London at the National Theatre (and at the Salzburg and Cheltenham Festivals in 2008) in Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, directed by Sir David Hare. This production was first seen on Broadway in the 2007 season and Vanessa received a Tony® nomination for her performance. This year, Vanessa’s films include Miral, directed by Julian Schnabel, The Whistleblower with Rachel Weisz, Anonymous, directed by Roland Emmerich, in which she plays the old Queen Elizabeth I and Coriolanus with Ralph Fiennes, playing his mother Volumnia, in his first film as director. Vanessa's most recent film for television was HBO Films’ The Fever, directed by Carlo Nero, based on the play by Wallace Shawn, for which Vanessa was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2008. Isadora, Vanessa’s famous film role of the 60s, has just been released on DVD, as has her film for CBS, Playing for Time, (1981) written by Arthur Miller and directed by Daniel Mann. In 2010 Vanessa Redgrave received a BAFTA Fellowship.
Before Driving Miss Daisy, four-time Tony Award® winner Boyd Gaines’stage credits included The Grand Manner at Lincoln Center Theatre and on Broadway; Gypsy (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), Journey’s End (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Twelve Angry Men, Contact (Tony and Lucille Lortel Awards), She Loves Me (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards) and The Heidi Chronicles (Tony Award). Gaines’ film credits include Funny Games, Porkys and Fame and on television; The Good Wife, The Confession and One Day at a Time.
Alfred Uhry is an award winning playwright who has won a Pulitzer prize, an Oscar® and two Tony Awards®. His initial work as a lyricist included Here’s Where I Belong and The Robber Bridegroom for which he wrote the book and lyrics. Driving Miss Daisy was his first play and was followed by The Last Night of Ballyhoo and Parade, both of which were Tony Award winning pieces and Without Walls and Edgardo Mine. He also wrote the book for Broadway musical LoveMusik.
Award winning director/producer David Esbjornson last directed A Few Good Men with Rob Lowe in the West End. His other directorial credits include The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Perestroika, Resurrection Blues, Gabriel, Trumpery, Molly Ivins and How? How? Why? Why? Why? He has also served as Artistic Director of NYC Classic Stage Company and Seattle Repertory Theatre.