The Australian Premiere of Driving Miss Daisy, starring Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones, opened in Brisbane at the QPAC Playhouse last night.
From the moment the two larger than life leads stepped on to the stage to the moment they left, they had the audience mesmerised and in the palm of their hands. To tell you the truth I still can’t quite believe I was sitting in a theatre in Brisbane, watching two world class acting legends give both a stunning and very moving performance. In some ways it felt like a dream, a wonderful dream.
What can one say about actors such as Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones, that hasn’t already been said? Their performances and the subtle shifts in character development and relationship between Miss Daisy and her driver Hoke Coleburn, were moved through like silk. The poignancy of the southern U.S. setting during the 1950’s and 60’s and the layers of relationships, both human and societal that existed all around the central characters, was so fabulously relayed by Lansbury and Earl Jones, through every line of dialogue, every stage movement and all the silences in between, it was a pure privilege to watch them. Playing Boolie Werthan, was the equally accomplished Boyd Gaines. Once again the power in what was left unspoken was palpable and enjoyable – he was the perfect third in this casting.
The entire aesthetic of the production was superb, much to the credit of Director David Esbjornson. Also contributing was the beautiful music composed by Mark Bennett, the wonderful filmic projection design by Wendall K Harrington and the minimal set by John Lee Beatty.
This is certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the magic of Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones up close and personal, on stage without needing a passport or thousands of dollars to go and do it. So be quick to grab a seat to Driving Miss Daisy in Brisbane, before it sells out.
Gordon Frost Organisation presents
Driving Miss Daisy
by Alfred Uhry
Director David Esbjornson
Venue: Playhouse, QPAC, South Bank, Brisbane
Dates: 3 – 24 Feb 2013