I was recently attended the press night of Oliver Cotton's ‘Daytona’ at the Park Theatre, London’s newest, and coolest, theatrical venue.
Artistic Director Jez Bond took three years to transform the formerly disused office building near Finsbury Park tube, into the sparkling creative space I visited which now houses a 200-seat auditorium, a 90-seat space, rehearsal studio, café and bar. The impressive project cost £2.5 million, raised from private donations (generous support from Sir Ian McKellenand Celia Imrie amongst them) and the sale of 3 flats on the building’s upper floors, and is staffed mainly by local volunteers. With all the passion and hard work that has gone into accomplishing this dream, you can honestly feel the whole building and all it’s inhabitants buzzing with excitement – no more so than Hazel, the ever present and utterly adorable theatre dog (below left with Jez).
‘Daytona’ is the third production to have shown at Park Theatre since its opening and it is fantastic! Set in 1980’s New York the play tells the story of a pair of married Jewish immigrants who receive an alarming visit one quiet evening from an old friend. StarringHarry Shearer (of ‘The Simpsons’ fame) John Bowe and the ever FABULOUS Maureen Lipman (her performance floored me), this extraordinary story, especially in its second half, totally consumed me. I highly recommend going to see it.
Above Left: With John Bowe after his brilliant perfomance.
Above Right: With Artistic Director Jez Bond and actor Jonathan Pryce.
'Daytona' runs until August 18th (£22.50/£19.00 conc.) Buy tickets Here.