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A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Staff Pick!
Author: Peter Nichols
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 68
Pub. Date: 1967
ISBN-10: 0573619263
ISBN-13: 9780573619267
Cast Size: 3 female, 2 male, and 1 girl

About the Play:

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues, Male Monologues, and Female/Male Scenes.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg is a full-length black drama by Peter Nichols. A married couple struggle to deal with their disabled daughter, inventing conversations, characteristics and a full imaginary life for her as their own marriage falls apart. A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg is a funny and thought-provoking modern classic.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg depicts the brittle but deeply loving relationship between a young couple whose marriage has been tested in the most traumatic way. Bri, a school teacher, and his wife Sheila have a 10-year old disabled child named Josephine (nicknamed Joe Egg), who is completely helpless and dependent on them for everything. She is the cipher of the title. The wife believes that because of certain pre-marital indiscretions the child is punishment to them; but the husband looks on the matter drolly, as a black comedy joke. They are visited one night by another couple who have their patented solutions. The woman cannot stand lameness in people, and while she knows gas chambers are all wrong, still the state should do something in these cases. The man on the other hand is determined to give them advice, even against their will. The husband gets back at the fates with a little black comedy of his own, pretending with games of murder. But his sense of humor wasn't built to withstand this, and in the end he finds he can neither laugh off the affliction nor live with it, and runs away. Inspired by Peter Nichols' own experience of bringing up his disabled daughter in the 1960s, A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg was one of the ground-breaking plays of its generation and the issues faced by two parents in this bittersweet comedy still resonate with audiences today, breaking your heart one minute and filling it with warmth the next.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg premiered in 1967 at Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland, before transferring to the Comedy Theatre in London's West End, and then to Broadway at Brooks Atkinson Theatre the next year, where it was nominated for four Tony awards, including Best Play. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and been revived twice on Broadway and is regularly performed in repertory and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 female, 2 male, and 1 girl

What people say:

"An immensely moving, even profound play about love and marriage…. Very worthwhile." — New York Times

"Both moving and funny." — New York Post

"Comedies don’t get more heart-rending than A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, a 1967 play by Peter Nichols that feels new-born in this Broadway revival ... Joe Egg outstrips anything on a New York stage in its searing humor and wrenching emotional force. It manages to break your heart one minute and suffuse it with warmth the next, all while eliciting a stream of cathartic laughter." — Variety

About the Playwright:

Peter Nichols (1927-2019) was an English playwright, screenwriter, director and journalist. He wrote 17 stage plays, nearly two dozen television plays, and one episode of the long-running "Inspector Morse" detective series. He was awarded a CBE for services to drama in 2018.