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Driving Miss Daisy Will Extend National Tour Into 2013

Driving Miss Daisy, currently on tour until December 2012, will extend its national tour to April 2013 due to popular demand.  The critically acclaimed production, presented by Julian Stoneman Associates, in association with Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, follows sell-out runs on Broadway and in the West End.

Driving Miss Daisy is the Pulitzer prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry and this production stars Gwen Taylor as Daisy Werthan, Don Warrington as Hoke Coleburn and Ian Porter as Boolie Werthan.

Julian Stoneman, Producer, said “I am thrilled that we are able to extend the tour and allow more theatregoers the chance to see two of the UK’s best known stars.  The critics have said Gwen Taylor gives ‘a wonderful performance’ and “Don Warrington is ‘captivating’. Driving Miss Daisy is a delightful play with wit, charm and comedy and appeals to all ages.  You are in for treat!”

Driving Miss Daisy continues its 2012 tour to Brighton Theatre Royalfrom 12 - 17 November, Derby Theatre from 19 - 24 November (where an extra matinee on Thursday 22 November has been added to the sell-out run) and concludes at Southend Palace Theatre from 26 November - 1 December 2012.

The 2013 tour will run as follows: 

Theatre Clwyd, Mold from 29 January – 2 February 

New Theatre, Cardiff from 5 – 9 February 

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry from 11 – 16 February

Arts Theatre, Cambridge from 18 – 23 February 

Theatre Royal, Plymouth from 25 February – 2 March  

Kings Theatre, Edinburgh from 5 – 9 March 

Churchill Theatre, Bromley from 18 – 23 March 

Devonshire Park, Eastbourne from 25 – 30 March 

Swan Theatre, Wycombe from 2 – 6 April 

Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton from 9 – 13 April  

Driving Miss Daisy won the 2012 award for Best Play Revival voted for by over 10,000 theatregoers.  Driving Miss Daisy is directed by David Esbjornson, designed by John Lee Beatty, with costumes by Jane Greenwood, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski, music by Mark Bennett and sound design by Christopher Cronin. 

Alfred Uhry wrote Driving Miss Daisy in 1987 and the same year it debuted Off-Broadway at the Playwrights Horizons Theater.  Two years later the play was made into a film with Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy.  Alfred Uhry received an Academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay while the film was awarded Best Picture. 

The piece begins in 1948when Daisy Werthan, a 72-year-old Jewish widow living in Atlanta, is deemed too old to drive.  Her son Boolie hires Hoke Coleburn, an African American, 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. 

Gwen Taylor (Daisy Werthan) most recently played Anne Foster in Coronation Street.  Other notable TV credits include Peg in Heartbeat, the title role in Barbara, Rita in A Bit of A Do, Margaret in Belonging and Gen in Conjugal Rites.  Gwen’s many stage credits include The Butterfly Lion at Leicester Curve, Calendar Girls on tour, Prick Up Your Ears at the Comedy Theatre, Shirley Valentine on tour, Heritage at Hampstead Theatre, Clouds and Ripen Our Darkness at the Royal Court Theatre.  Her film work includes Monty Python’s Life of Brian and Richard’s Things.

Don Warrington (Hoke Coleburn) is best known for playing Philip Smith in the hit TV series Rising Damp alongside Leonard Rossiter.  Other television creditsinclude Morse, Red Dwarf, Lovejoy, Doctor Who, Casualty, The Crouches, New Street Law and Death in Paradise.  His stage credits include A Statement of Regret and The Mysteries for the National Theatre, Elmina’s Kitchen at the Garrick Theatre and The Merchant of Venice at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. 

Ian Porter (Boolie Werthan) recently played Slim in Of Mice and Men at the Watermill Theatre.  His previous theatre credits include August: Osage County at the National Theatre, The Exonerated at the New Players Theatre, The Archbishops Ceiling, You Can’t Take It With You at Southwark Playhouse and Voices From September 11th at the Old Vic.  Ian’s screen credits include Saving Private Ryan, The Bourne Ultimatum, Mr Bean’s Holiday, Hotel Babylon, The Jacket, Doctor Who, Bonekickers and Moonshot. 

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 includes 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, Without Walls and Edgardo Mine. He also wrote the book for the Broadway musical LoveMusik. 

Award winning director/producer David Esbjornson most recently 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.

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