Joe Egg playwright Peter Nichols dies at 92

Posted on 16 September 2019

Acclaimed playwright Peter Nichols, author of the once-controversial A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, passed away in Oxford on 7 September 2019 at age 92, just two weeks ahead of the play's revival at Trafalgar Studios. The tragic news was confirmed by Michael Grandage Company on Twitter on 9 September.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg writer Peter Nichols died on 7 September 2019 at the age of 92.

Peter Nichols passes away as his legacy lives on

The entire theatre world has been saddened by the news of Peter Nichols' passing. The English-born playwright saw his major theatrical debut in 1967 with his now magnum opus, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. The upcoming West End revival of Joe Egg at London's Trafalgar Studios will now be staged posthumously.

Getting Joe Egg staged back in 1967 was a huge achievement considering the many obstacles that stood in its way. The play's dark subject matter, in which two parents feel genuinely bothered and annoyed to care for their daughter who suffers from cerebral palsy, was considered by the play-selection committee at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow to be a mockery of the disabled. Nevertheless, some members of the committee saw the play's plot for what it was: an exploration of the human condition.

After a successful premiere in Scotland and at the West End's Comedy Theatre (now the Harold Pinter Theatre) in 1967, Joe Egg swiftly transferred to Broadway in 1968. The New York production was allegedly such a huge success that Nichols was able to purchase himself a house in Blackheath, London for just £12,000 (over £200,000 when adjusted for inflation).

Peter Nichols writing credits

Award-winning playwright Peter Nichols, who last year was honoured with the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his work in drama, has written a number of works for the stage over the years including The National Health (1969) at the Old Vic Theatre and the RSC's Passion Play (1981) at the Aldwych Theatre, both of which won the Best Play award for the Evening Standard.

Other notable plays of his include The Freeway (1976) at the Old Vic, the Ivor Novello Award-winning Privates on Parade (1977) at the Aldwych Theatre, Born in the Gardens (1980) at the Globe, Poppy (1982) at the Barbican, Blue Murder (1995) in Bristol, and Lingua Franca (2010) at the Finborough Theatre in London. Nichols also delved into screenwriting and penned the screenplays for such films as Having a Wild Weekend and Georgy Girl.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg returns to London's West End this month

It comes with great sadness that Peter Nichols will not have the chance to see his own play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg on stage this autumn. The new staging of the black comedy opens at Trafalgar Studios on 21 September 2019 and stars Toby Stephens (Die Another Day, Jane Eyre, Ring Around the Moon) as Bri, Claire Skinner (Outnumbered, The Glass Menagerie) as Sheila, and Patricia Hodge (Miranda) as Grace. The play is directed by Simon Evans, best known for directing last year's Killer Joe starring Orlando Bloom.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg on sale with no booking fees!

Honour the life of the late playwright Peter Nichols and be sure to catch Joe Egg at Trafalgar Studios in London this September. Tickets for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg showing at Trafalgar Studios are now available with no booking fees if you book by 19 September. This offer is valid on all Monday through Thursday performances until 10 October 2019, excluding the performance on 2 October. Don't miss out and book now!

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Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.