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West End premiere of DAYTONA starring Maureen Lipman

Maureen Lipman in Daytona
Maureen Lipman (Elli) in Daytona, photo Manuel Harlan

Maureen Lipman and Harry Shearer join Oliver Cotton in the West End transfer of his play, Daytona August 2014.

Directed by David Grindley, Daytona will begin performances at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 28 June and will complete its strictly limited 8 week run on 23 August 2014.  Daytona received its world premiere at London’s Park Theatre in 2013 and this production marks the Theatre Royal Haymarket’s first collaboration with an off West End theatre venue.

Gripping, funny, poignant and full of mystery, Daytona is a play with not one but two love stories at its heart.  Set in New York in 1986, Joe and Elli share a love of ballroom dancing and are practicing their routines for the next big competition.  Despite constant bickering, the love they have shared for nearly fifty years is clear. Then one night, out of the blue, Joe’s long-lost brother Billy bursts back into their lives with an extraordinary story to tell.

Making her Theatre Royal Haymarket debut Maureen Lipman reprises her role of Elli. Her extensive theatre credits include When We Are Married at the Garrick Theatre, A Little Night Music for the Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End, Aladdin at the Old Vic, Old Money and Peggy For You for Hampstead Theatre and Re-Joyce in the West End on national tour and in the US.  Her extensive work for the National Theatre includes Oklahoma!, Macbeth, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Jumpers, The Front Page and School for Scandal.  On television, her work includes Ladies of Letters, Skins, He Kills Coppers, Sensitive Skin, About Face, All at No. 20, Agony, Cold Enough for Snow and Eskimo Day.  Her film credits include Bridge of Lies, Flight of Fancy, The Pianist, Carry on Columbus, Educating Rita and Gumshoe.

Harry Shearer in Daytona
Harry Shearer (Joe) in Daytona, photo by Manuel Harlan

Making his West End stage debut and reprising the role of Joe, Harry Shearer has provided character voices for The Simpsons since it began in 1987, most notably as Mr Burns, Principal Skinner and Ned Flanders. He co-created, co-wrote and co-starred as bassist Derek Smalls in the 1984 mockumentary This is Spinal Tap.  This was a collaboration with Christopher Guest and friends whom Shearer has also worked with on many other projects including A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.  Previously, as a theatre performer, his credits include Loose Lips, Tinkle Time and Accomplice, all in the US.  On television his work includes the series Nixon’s the One, which was broadcast on Sky Arts earlier this year and cast member and writer of Saturday Night Live.  His other film work includes The Fisher King, Godzilla and The Truman Show.  In 2010 Shearer wrote, directed and produced The Big Uneasy, a multi-award winning documentary feature investigating the actual causes of the 2005 flooding of New Orleans.  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 radio show Le Show has been broadcast throughout the US on National Public Radio every week for the past thirty years.

Oliver Cotton
Oliver Cotton

Oliver Cotton’s writing credits include Wet Weather Cover at the King’s Head and Arts Theatres, The Incredible Journey of Sir Francis Younghusband and The Enoch Show for the Royal Court, Scrabble for the National Theatre and Man Falling Down for Shakespeare’s Globe.  For television, A Touch of Frost and Diamond Geezer and on film Singing for Stalin, Peeping Through, Deadline, Sofa and The English Game.  Cotton also has an extensive list of credits as an actor on stage, television and film including Passion Play at the Duke of York’s Theatre, A Flea in her Ear at the Old Vic, The Syndicate and The Grapes of Wrath for Chichester Festival Theatre and Henry IV parts 1 and 2 for Shakespeare’s Globe.

David Grindley’s more recent UK directing credits include Journey’s End, West End, on tour and on Broadway, Kafka’s Dick, Pygmalion, The American Plan and Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell  all for the Theatre Royal Bath, Outings at the Guilded Balloon, A Steady Rain at the Bath Ustinov Studio, Our Boys at the Duchess Theatre, Copenhagen for Sheffield Theatres and Six Degrees of Separation for the Old Vic. Grindley’s productions have also been seen at Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, on Broadway and on tour both nationally and internationally.

Daytona is produced in the West End by TRH Productions, Lee Dean and Jenny Topper in association with Park Theatre.

Theatre Royal Haymarket, 18 Suffolk St, London SW1Y 4HT
28 June to 23 August 2014
Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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