Daisy Pulls It Off

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Daisy Pulls It Off
Daisy Pulls It Off.jpg
Written by Denise Deegan
Date premiered December 1983
Place premiered Nuffield Theatre
Southampton
Original language English
Subject captures the uncomplicated innocence of Angela Brazil's schoolgirl novels, set in 1927 super-achiever finally gains acceptance at school
Genre Comedy parody
Setting English boarding school for girls

Daisy Pulls It Off is a comedy play by Denise Deegan. It is a parody of wholesome adventure stories about life in a 1920s girls' English boarding school, such as those by Angela Brazil. The original production of the play opened at the Nuffield Theatre in 1983 and ran for 1,180 performances.

Synopsis[edit]

Energetic Daisy Meredith, a girl from a poor background, is forced to face and overcome snobbish prejudice and schoolgirl pranks from the wealthier girls. She and her best friend, zany Trixie Martin, search for the missing treasure that could save the fortunes of the exclusive Grangewood School for Young Ladies. Along the way, Daisy overcomes false accusations, saves the lives of her enemies and discovers that the mysterious stranger seen around the grounds is her long-lost father.

As in the series of St Trinians films, the schoolgirls are played by older actresses, and the headmistress frequently is played by a man.

Productions[edit]

After tryouts at the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton in 1983, the play was staged in the West End at the Gielgud Theatre (then known as the Globe) from April 1983 to February 1986, produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and directed by David Gilmore.[1] It ran for 1,180 performances and then toured for two years. Alexandra Mathie starred as Daisy. The play launched the careers of Kate Buffery, Lia Williams, Gabrielle Glaister and Samantha Bond.[2]

The production won an Olivier Award and the Drama Theatre Award for Best Comedy. Kate Buffery was nominated for an Olivier as Best Supporting Actress.[3]

Dewsbury Arts Group's 1989 production of the play was the scene of Victoria O'Keefe's last-ever stage role (as Sybyl Burlington), before her untimely death at 21 in an automobile accident in 1990.

A 2002 revival at the Lyric Theatre was also directed by Gilmore and produced by Lloyd Webber.[4] There was also a 2008 UK tour.[5]

The family-friendly piece is a popular choice for school productions.[1]

The very first American production of this play was staged at Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1992. It was directed by John Lloyd and starred Caryn Mehalik, Shelby Schnieder, Craig Gyergyo, Lesley Dave, Gretchen Cleevely, Chris Burkett and Chris DeMarco.

A revived London production ran at the Arts Theatre in the West End from 19 January - 6 February 2010. It was directed by Nadine Hanwell.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Hurrah! Daisy blooms again", The Telegraph, 25 April 2002
  2. ^ Pritchard, Claudia. "Golly gosh, it's time for the revival of the girls' boarding school caper", The Independent, 29 April 2002
  3. ^ "Olivier Winners 1983", Official London Theatre Guide
  4. ^ "Daisy Pulls it Off", Albemarle of London
  5. ^ Review of 2008 UK tour production by Timothy Ramsden, 27 May 2008

Further reading[edit]

  • Deegan, Denise (1985). Daisy Pulls It Off: A Comedy (First ed.). London: Samuel French. ISBN 0-573-11117-0. 

Daisy Pulls It Off is based on the novel The Testing Of Tansy by Winifred Norling written in 1939

External links[edit]