A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

  • Date:
    Monday, October 1, 2001

    Written by Peter Nichol.
    Director: Laurence Boswell
    Starring: Clive Owen (Replaced with Eddie Izzard for the Comedy Theatre run) , Prunella Scales, Victoria Hamilton
    Synopsis:The drama concerns Bri and Sheila, and their severely mentally handicapped child (nicknamed Joe Egg) aged 10. The parents invent conversations and personality traits for the child, even though it seems unable to communicate in any way itself. As Bri and Sheila begin to fabricate scenarios, their marriage comes under increasing strain.

    A round up of the press notices from the New Ambassadors run......

    This revival has received great notices from the popular press.... BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Joe Egg remains a moving and challenging masterpiece." He goes on to say, "It’s funny, it’s moving, it’s intellectually stirring." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says,"Triumphant return of Joe Egg." He goes on to say, "Watching Laurence Boswell's fine revival you are left in no doubt that it is a modern classic. He ends his review, "This is a terrific production of a magnificent, deeply humane and emotionally shattering play." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "I think it's a great play.......Victoria Hamilton captures exactly Sheila's mixture of defiant optimism and fitful despair.....and there is a peach of a performance from Prunella Scales as Bri's primly genteel Bristolian mother. In the end, Nichols's play triumphs over an initially tentative production." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "It's a great pleasure to welcome Laurence Boswell's prickly, zestful revival, which proves that Joe Egg is that rare bird – a groundbreaking work that retains an undiminished capacity to disconcert." GEORGINA BROWN for THE MAIL ON SUNDAY says, "This brave, brilliant and harrowing play about mother love in its infinite variety is a classic and must not be missed." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Vein of dark comedy still delivers." He goes on to say, "It's Hamilton's Sheila, offering a powerful, nervewracked antidote to Owen's fine, laid-back comic cuts who takes the play to the dangerous edge where it belongs. " JOHN PETER for THE SUNDAY TIMES says, "Peter Nichols's play about a young couple with an incurably handicapped child is a soul- wrenching comedy of harrowing humanity. " He goes on to say, "One of the greatest modern English plays, and Laurence Boswell's production does it proud. " PETER HEPPLE for THE STAGE says, "The problem with the play is that Nichols, having written an effective Act I which ably conveys the desperation of the couple .....has to resort to monologues and set pieces for the rest of the play." BRIAN LOGAN for TIME OUT says, "A less gaudy production might better have served this difficult, passionate play."

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