Daytona, the brand new drama written by Oliver Cotton, is set to appear at the Theatre Royal Bath from Monday 14th October to Saturday 19th October. Directed by David Grindley and starring Maureen Lipman, Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, This is Spinal Tap, Saturday Night Live) and John Bowe (Cranford, Sweeney Todd), Daytona is a haunting, funny and poignant play full of mystery, with not one but two love stories at its heart.
“A gripping story, powerfully told and excellently performed” – Daily Telegraph
Daytona is set in New York in 1986, in the apartment of Joe and Elli, a Jewish couple who are happy in their shared passion for ballroom dancing and planning to win the next big competition. Despite their constant bickering, the love they have shared for nearly fifty years is clear. One night, out of the blue, Joe’s long-lost brother Billy bursts back into their lives with an extraordinary story. During a recent stay in Florida, he recognised someone from their distant past, a former guard from a concentration camp where they were all once imprisoned by the Nazis. Not only does Billy’s revelation threaten to throw everything off balance, it leaves Joe and Elli with a profound moral dilemma.
“Oliver Cotton’s new play is a dazzling showcase for a trio of fine actors: Maureen Lipman, John Bowe and Harry Shearer. Director David Grindley offers extraordinary, animating moments to remember” – The Times
Maureen Lipman (playing Elli) has had a prolific acting career. Her recent television work includes the ITV comedy series Ladies of Letters with Anne Reid; as well as Midsomer Murders, Skins, Sensitive Skin and Coronation Street. Maureen first gained prominence in film in Up the Junction and on television in the comedies Agony and Agony Again. Her many film credits also include the award-winning Educating Rita and The Pianist. An acclaimed stage actress, Maureen has starred in the West End plays See How They Run, for which she won an Olivier Award; Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers; her Olivier nominated solo show, Alive and Kicking; and When We Are Married. She was also nominated for Olivier Awards for her leading roles in the National Theatre’s production of Oklahoma! with Hugh Jackman; Thoroughly Modern Millie; and Trevor Nunn’s staging of A Little Night Music in the West End. She is also well-known for playing Joyce Grenfell in the biographical show Re: Joyce!, which she co-wrote for both stage and television. Returning to Bath for what will be her tenth role on the Theatre Royal stage, her last visit was in Barefoot in the Park in 2012.
Harry Shearer (playing Joe) has provided voice work for The Simpsons since it began in 1987, most notably as Mr. Burns, Principle Skinner, and Ned Flanders. He was a writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live and is famed for his collaborations with Christopher Guest and friends, in particular as co-writer and playing the role of bassist Derek Smalls in This is Spinal Tap. Shearer began his career as a child actor, appearing in The Jack Benny Program, as well as the films Abbott and Costello Go to Mars and The Robe. His series Nixon’s the One will be broadcast on Sky Arts this autumn. His other television work includes two seasons as writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live. His other film work includes The Fisher King, Godzilla and The Truman Show.
John Bowe (playing Billy) is perhaps best known on television for his roles as Duggie Ferguson in Coronation Street and as Dr Morgan in Cranford. His television and film also includes The Hour; DCI Banks; Silent Witness; Einstein and Eddington; Prime Suspect; Tipping the Velvet; Class Act; Soldier Soldier; and The Living Daylights. His theatre work includes Judge Turpin in the award-winning Sweeney Todd at Chichester Festival Theatre and in the West End, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre in the West End. John has also performed extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company, appeared in Saint Joan at London’s OId Vic, and starred in The Lady from the Sea and Heartbreak House at the Almeida Theatre.
Actor and playwright, Oliver Cotton wrote Daytona, which premiered at the Park Theatre, London in July 2013 ahead of its UK tour. His previous credits as a playwright include Wet Weather Cover (King’s Head & Arts Theatre); The Incredible Journey of Sir Francis Younghusband, The Enoch Show (Royal Court); Scrabble (National Theatre); and Man Falling Down (Shakespeare’s Globe). His writing credits for television include A Touch of Frost and Diamond Geezer; and for film Singing for Stalin, Peeping Through, Deadline, Sofa and The English Game. As an actor, Oliver has recently appeared in Passion Play in the West End. His previous performances at the Theatre Royal Bath include Barefoot in the Park in 2012 alongside Maureen Lipman; The Syndicate with Ian McKellen in 2011; The Clean House with Patricia Hodge in 2008; and The Father in 1995.
Director David Grindley has directed stage productions internationally as well as in the West End and for UK tours. His recent credits include The American Plan at Bath’s Ustinov Studio in March 2013; Our Boys in the West End; Enron (Tokyo); Copenhagen (Sheffield); The Misanthrope (Stratford, Canada); and Journey’s End (on tour including Bath, West End and on Broadway, winning the 2007 Tony Award for Best Revival). On UK tour, he has also directed Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell; Crown Matrimonial; Blackbird; Abigail’s Party; and Single Spies, all of which have played at the Theatre Royal Bath. He directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Stratford and Canada; The Philanthropist on Broadway and at the Donmar; Six Degrees of Separation and National Anthems at London’s Old Vic; and Honour, Some Girls, Loot and What the Butler Saw in the West End.
Daytona appears at the Theatre Royal, Bath from Monday 14th October to Saturday 19th October.
Performances: Evenings: Monday- Wednesday at 7.30pm, Thursday- Saturday at 8pm.
Matinees: Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm.
Tickets are priced from £18.50- £34.50, concessions are available.
Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 01225 448844 or online here