A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Media Release

Peter Nichols’ award-winning black comedy A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG returns to the Citizens in a brand new production this autumn, 40 years after receiving its world premiere at the Gorbals theatre.

Featuring the inimitable MIRIAM MARGOLYES as Grace, stand-up comedian MILES JUPP as Bri and Heartbeat’s SARAH TANSEY as Sheila. 

Brian and Sheila are struggling to cope with caring for their disabled child. He is a harassed teacher who works at an unruly British comprehensive and is defiantly unsentimental about their situation. Sheila on the other hand is a resilient mother who desperately clings to the hope that one day her daughter will overcome her medical condition. Finding it easier to confide in the audience than each other, they concoct fantasy games and joke routines, replaying key episodes in their life story like practiced marital rituals.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg astutely observes the challenges faced by a young couple, struggling to preserve a sense of normality in their relationship. A social satire that borrows from musical hall tradition, using comedy to tackle moral and taboo issues – from the institution of marriage to racism and disability. 

The play was written by Peter Nichols and premiered at the Citizens Theatre on 9 May, 1967, in a production directed by Michael Blakemore (also a former artistic director of the Citz).  The production enjoyed a successful run in Glasgow before transferring to London that year, then onto Broadway in 1968.  It was Nichols’ first major critical success and launched his career, whilst the production earned Blakemore his first Tony nomination. 

Phillip Breen returns to the Citizens to direct this production, following an array of successes for the theatre including The Caretaker, Shadow of a Gunman and The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui and a critically acclaimed version of The Hard Man for the Scottish Theatres Consortium earlier this year.  He also directed Humphrey Ker is Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher! for the Edinburgh Fringe, which won the Foster’s Comedy Award for Best Newcomer 2011.

As befits the vaudeville tradition that Nichols aimed to emulate, the production will feature a cast that draws talent from the worlds of both acting and comedy, including stand-up comedian Miles Jupp (Rev, Balamory, Mock the Week) as Brian and doyenne of stage and screen Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter, Blackadder, Age of Innocence, Romeo & Juliet) as his interfering mother. 

We are also delighted to welcome for the first time Sarah Tansey (Heartbeat - ITV, Twelfth Night - Old Vic Tunnels, A Dolls House - West Yorkshire Playhouse) as Sheila, as well as Joseph Chance (Wallander – BBC, Reanimator – Southwark Playhouse) and Olivia Darnley (Titanic - ITV, Miss Marple – ITV).

The role of Joe will be shared by Abigail Gillespie and Florence Gray, both of whom have participated in the theatre’s weekly drama classes, Kids @ Citz.

Walking a tightrope between humour and heartbreak, Joe Egg endures as a poignant comedy and biting social satire.

ENDS

For further information, press ticket, interview and picture requests please contact:
Cat McNaught, Marketing Manager, 0141 418 6233 / cat@citz.co.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS

PRESS NIGHT: FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER, 7.30PM

PETER NICHOLS
Peter Nichols was born in Bristol in 1927 and educated there at The Grammar School and Old Vic Theatre School. After National Service in India, Malaya and Hong Kong, he was an actor in repertory theatre and television for five years and then a teacher in London schools. His many original scripts and adaptations have appeared on television, film and radio. His plays for theatre include A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, The National Health, Forget-Me-Not Lane, The Freeway, Chez Nous, and Privates On Parade.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

PREVIOUS PRODUCTIONS:
1967 – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow then London’s West End Broadway
1985 – Broadway revival staged at the Longacre Theatre
2001 - Revival on London’s West End starred Clive Owen (then later Eddie Izzard) and Victoria Hamilton.The same production opened on Broadway in 2003 at the American Airlines Theatre.

AWARDS
1985 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival
1985 Outer Critics Circle Awards Best Revival
1985 Tony Award for Best Reproduction of a Play
1968 Best Featured Actress (Zena Walker)

NOMINATIONS
1968 Tony Award for Best Play
1968 Tony Award for Best Actor (Albert Finney)
1968 Tony Award for Best Director (Michael Blakemore)
2003 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play
2003 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Play

FILM ADAPTATIONS
Both adaptations for film were done by Nichols.
- The 1970 adaptation, which was not released until 1972, starred Alan Bates, Janet Suzman,  Joan Hickson (from the original theatre cast), Peter Bowles and Elizabeth Robillard.
- The 2002 television film was directed by Robin Lough, with stars Eddie Izzard, Victoria Hamilton, Prunella Scales and Robin Weaver.

LISTINGS

A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG
Directed by Philip Breen
Designed by Max Jones
Lighting Design by Tina MacHugh

Main Theatre
Wed 19 October – Sat 12 November (No shows Sun or Mon)

Previews: Wed 19 & Thu 20 Oct, 7.30pm
Matinee: Sat 5 November, 2.30pm
Audio Described Performance: Thu 27 October, 7.30pm
Signed Performance: Wed 3 November, 7.30pm
Captioned Performance: Thu 4 November, 7.30pm
Post Show Q&A with the Director: Thu 27 October

Tickets: £10.50-£18 (concessions available)
Previews: £5
Groups | School and youth groups: £8 and 1 free with every 10 tickets purchased.
Adult groups: Buy 10 or more full price tickets and get £2.50 off each ticket.

Cheap Tuesdays in partnership with The List | All tickets £10.

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