A Day In The Death of Joe Egg

Click HERE for a picture from The Ambassador Theatre Group Magazine - Autumn 2001 Issue

Evening Standard Review and a Theatergoer's Report 11/22

Five Best West End Plays - Benedict Nightingale - The London Times

New Ambassadors, WC2, until Nov 24 (020-7836 6111)

A HIGHLY entertaining play about parenting a near-vegetable child? Sounds impossible - but that is what Peter Nichols succeeded in creating in 1967. And that is what Laurence Boswell's revival, with Clive Owen as the flummoxed, helpless father, Victoria Hamilton as his caring wife and Prunella Scales in the role of the supremely insufferable mother-in-law, proves still to be the case. A masterpiece of comedy, intelligence and unsentimental pain. Thanks, Erica

Taken by Rai outside the theater after a performance.

Thanks, Valda, for the picture

10/30/01 -Two of the Joe Egg posters from the New Ambassodors Theatre, Thanks to Luvvy

10/24/01 - There is an interview with Clive's co-star in Joe Egg, Victoria Hamilton (Queen Victoria) at the London Theatre Web Site. Link HERE. Scroll down to 10.10. 01 Thanks, Erica

From The Guardian: Waiting for Abigail. While his daughter was dying, Peter Nichols tasted international success with his play based on her brief, unhappy life. This is his unflinching diary of that time

From This Is London: A Day in the Death of Joe Egg: What do you do if you are a fully paid-up member of the smouldering hunk brigade, who has just starred in one of the UK's biggest transatlantic movie hits of the year and are being touted as the next 007? Well, if you're Clive Owen you don a corduroy jacket (with obligatory elbow patches) and take to the London stage in the revival of a play that hasn't seen the bright lights of the West End since its original production in 1967. However, the star of Croupier certainly isn't slumming it in this brilliant black comedy by Peter Nichols. Indeed the only question this production warrants is why hasn't it been restaged sooner? This semi-autobiographical tale tells of a couple's efforts to cope with their severely disabled daughter - Joe Egg. Bri and Sheila, played by Owen and the outstanding Victoria Hamilton, are a likable pair, and Owen slips with assured ease into the play's dark stand-up routines, while Hamilton serves as a bright and affecting foil in their moments of cathartic role-play. But their relationship is under strain - Sheila has never stopped loving Joe, while Bri has lost hope, resorting to adolescent bouts of attention-seeking behaviour as his sense of claustrophobic frustration escalates. Touching, funny and blisteringly honest stuff. New Ambassadors Theatre, 020 7369 1761.

10/7/01 -- The London Times: Victoria Hamilton and Clive Owen give performances that rank among the finest in the West End for years. Such anguish, so much hope - and such fearless precision and emotional strength in portraying them. Thanks, Gill

The Daily Mail Review: "Partnered by the brilliant Victoria Hamilton (who played the young Queen Victoria in the BBC's recent Victoria And Albert), Owen brings his special brand of laconic cool to bear on a play that is still challenging, moving and very funny." Thanks, Gill

10/3/01 - ." Launching into energetic impersonations of bone-headed doctors and trendy vicars, Clive Owen's excellent Bri lets you see how this manic vaudeville is the flipside of desperation." Great review from The Independent. Thanks, Gill

Another review from Whats On Stage HERE. Thanks, Erica

10/2/01 Review- Three Stars from The Guardian. Thanks, Nick

9/23/01 - From the London Observer: A Play In The Life - Peter Nichols on Joe Egg. Thanks, Gill


The StageUK on Joe Egg
The London Theater Guide
Ticket Prices

Another listing
Official London Theatre

IMdb Links:

Clive Owen
Prunella Scales
Laurence Boswell

Peter Nichols

From Time Out -- Thanks, Valda, for the above

The London Times ad for the play 9/9/01 - Thanks, Gill

30th May 2001 - What's on Stage News - Thanks, Luvvy

Owen and Scales to Star in Joe Egg Revival

Clive Owen (pictured) and Prunella Scales are to star in a major new West End version of Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg this Autumn. The play will run at the New Ambassador's Theatre, with previews from 25 September 2001 and an opening night scheduled for 1 October. This will be the first major London staging of the show since the original 1960s production.

The drama is centred around a couple, 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 which may have led to Joe Egg's predicament, their marriage comes under increasing strain. Combining elements of tragedy with grim humour, the play is widely recognised as dealing sympathetically with the difficulties faced by parents and carers in such a situation.

Clive Owen has previously performed in Joe Egg at the King's Head Theatre, Islington directed by Lisa Forrell. A graduate of RADA, Owen played in the Young Vic Theatre Company and has also established himself on screen in such films as Close my Eyes, Croupier and Bent. In 1997 he appeared again on the London stage in Patrick Marber’s Closer. Prunella Scales has been performing on both stage and screen since 1951, with a theatrical inclination towards the classics. Known to audiences worldwide as Sybil Fawlty in the comedy Fawlty Towers, her movie work includes The Boys From Brazil and Howard's End.

The new Joe Egg will be directed by Laurence Boswell, who studied drama at Manchester University alongside Ben Elton whose Popcorn he later directed. Boswell was previously the artistic director of London's Gate Theatre, a position which gained him wide acclaim. The design will come courtesy of Es Devlin, currently winning plaudits for her work on the Jonathan Harvey/Pet Shop Boys collaboration Closer To Heaven. Later this year, the Donmar Warehouse is also expected to revive another of Nichols' plays, Privates on Parade, directed by Michael Grandage.

The 1967 version of Joe Egg won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play, with a Tony Award for Best Revival bestowed in 1985. The 1971 film interpretation, adapted by Nichols himself, starred Alan Bates, Janet Suzman and Peter Bowles. It was directed by Peter Medak (who went on to make Let Him Have It and Romeo Is Bleeding) and won a United Nations film award.

- by Gareth Thompson