Duo take on Daytona at Richmond Theatre

Double act: Harry Shearer and Maureen Lipman

Double act: Harry Shearer and Maureen Lipman

First published in News Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Olivier award winner Maureen Lipman first learned about Oliver Cotton's idea for Daytona while starring together at Richmond Theatre.

While both were performing in Neil Simon's revival of Barefoot in the Park, Cotton approached Lipman with the, at the time very long, script for Daytona.

Fast forward two years and the pair return, alongside Harry Shearer, best known for his voices in The Simpsons, to the venue where it all began.

Lipman, who plays Elli, says: "The last time I was at Richmond with Oliver, he showed me the script for what would become Daytona.

"I thought it had some brilliant writing in it but it was quite long and it has been cut down to what it is now."

The play, written by Cotton, who also stars in it himself, centres around a couple in their early 70s and how they react when a previously-presumed-dead relative reappears.

"It rakes up all that has gone on in the past, a life spent pretending that the war never happened," she says.

"It is quite a dark and funny play about how you can deceive both yourself and your nearest and dearest for a lifetime.

"The critics have said it is very difficult to place."

Directed by David Grindley, the play is touring after a stint at the West End's Haymarket Theatre.

Daytona is gripping, poignant and full of mystery with two love stories at the heart of the production.

Discover what happens when Joe's long-lost brother Billy returns to their lives out of the blue at Richmond Theatre in September.

Daytona; Richmond Theatre, Little Green, Richmond; September 1-6, evening performances 7.30pm, Tuesday and Sunday matinees 2.30pm; tickets £11.90-£47.40; visit atgtickets.com/venues/richmond-theatre for further details.

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