Final Casting Announced For A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG
When Peter Nichols wrote the ground-breaking play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg in 1967, it was inspired by his own personal experience of bringing up his disabled daughter. A story about family, the funny and moving play shines a light on her parents' caring for their daughter, who is affectionately nicknamed Joe Egg.
Now more than five decades later, a revival of this funny and moving masterpiece is to open at Trafalgar Studios next week, with the part of Joe Egg being played by Storme Toolis, an actor who herself suffers from cerebral palsy. This is the first time in the play's West End history that a disabled actor has been cast in this pivotal role.
Storme Toolis said: "I definitely feel that as a disabled actor there are interesting familiar relationships in this play, but I don't draw a lot on my own experiences. Everybody is different, so my job is to portray Joe's story. I'm interested in understanding how a family in an era that is not 2019 would deal with having a disabled child and whether what they would go through and what we go through now would be kind of similar.
I was really interested in the attitudes that were so prevalent towards disabilities in the 1960's, but the play touches on so many other things, not just disability. It's about how you put one foot in front of the other every single day, whatever your Joe Egg might be. Everybody has something that makes their life a little bit more difficult and it's about what you use to help you get through that point."
Toolis, best known for playing the daughter of Nicholas Lyndhurst's retired policeman Danny Griffin in BBC ONE's comedy crime drama New Tricks and firm favourite in The Inbetweeners Movie, has enjoyed a varied career on both the big and small screen. Her recent theatre work saw her partner with both The Barbican and RSC for Redefining Juliet, which proved so popular with audiences it was also filmed for a BBC documentary.
Further casting has also been announced with Clarence Smith (The Firm, RSC) taking the role of Freddie and Lucy Eaton (Daisy Pulls It Off, A Midsummer Night's Dream) as Pam, completing the company alongside Toby Stephens (Oslo, Lost In Space), Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) and Patricia Hodge (Miranda, Downton Abbey).
Howard Panter said: "Storme is a brilliant actor and we are delighted she is joining the company alongside Toby, Claire, Patricia, Lucy and Clarence. At a time when there is so much division and despair in this country, Joe Egg shows that if we find a way to care, we all eventually find redemption."
Directed by Simon Evans (Killer Joe, Arturo Ui), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg is a bittersweet and startlingly funny, celebrated play which will break your heart one minute and fill it with warmth the next. The production is designed by Olivier Award winner Peter McKintosh, with lighting design by Prema Mehta and sound design and composition by Ed Lewis.
It opens on Saturday 21 September (Press Night 2 October) for a limited season until Saturday 30 November.