Are We There Yet? In A World Where The Maps Are Being Redrawn

Many of you may know that I enjoy the theatre which of course is in constant supply here in London. On Friday I saw a production of “Driving Miss Daisy” which is currently playing at the Wyndham’s Theatre just off Leicester Square. I had not seen the original oscar winning film, but was looking forwards to the prospect of seeing James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader) and Vanessa Redgrave. Sadly the latter was ill, but her understudy was very good indeed.

The story is set in the last century and concentrates on the relationship between two “outcasts” in American society at the time – the Jewish Miss Daisy and her black chauffeur.  This is set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing society in America – from post second world war to the civil rights movement. A time that saw America dominate global economies with high levels of production and increasing personal wealth, when America literally became the engine driving the world.

The story is wonderfully told, with a clear appreciation of the power of friendship and loyalty. This is captured by a moving performance. It reminded me that we are perhaps in the last days of the American empire as western power gradually collapses and makes way for Eastern ideas. I’m not suggesting that this will happen overnight, but it does appear to be happening. As a society develops, it tends to have a number of casualties, the construction of the US empire was predominantly fuelled by building and equipping the world with weapons, whilst providing credit to pay for them (as outlined by the economist Dambisa Moyo in her book “How The West Was Lost“. Despite difficult circumstances, holding to basic principles and remaining open to change is how, in the end, we get there.

The play runs until 17th December and one that I would highly recommend. The show has come from Broadway, where it played at the start of the year to rave reviews.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

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