Maureen Lipman on appearing in play Daytona

Maureen Lipman in Daytona photo by Manuel Harlan

Maureen Lipman in Daytona photo by Manuel Harlan

First published in Interviews by

Maureen Lipman stars in Daytona, a new play which the actress had a hand in bringing to light.

A dramatic and witty tango à trios, it tells the story of Elli and Joe, an elderly Jewish couple whose ballroom dance practice is disturbed one evening by the arrival of an unexpected but all too familiar face  at the door of their Brooklyn apartment. 

“I feel very attached to this play because I sort of found it,“ says Maureen, 67. “Oliver Cotton showed it to me and I got him fired up to start working on it again, I thought it was an absolutely wonderful play. I took it to the director of the Park Theatre, Jez Bond, and said ‘Are you interested in this play?’ and he read it and said ‘I’ll do it, but only if you’re in it’.

“I didn’t initially see myself as Elli, so I was quite surprised. Elli is a survivor. After the war, she’s gone to New York and has settled for a stable life, rather than a life of enchantment and excitement. And when the excitement and enchantment come back into her life, she’s like a cork that’s been let out of a bottle. Ellie is very strong and terribly vulnerable. Once the floodgates open, she never stops, there’s an amazing amount of passion.“

Daytona is at the Theatre Royal, Suffolk Street, Haymarket, until August 23. Details: 020 7930 8800, trh.co.uk  

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