Toby Stephens and Claire Skinner will make their long-awaited returns to the West End stage this autumn in Peter Nichols’ play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. Directed by Simon Evans, this revival of Nichols’ bittersweet comedy reunites Stephens and Skinner who last worked together 18 years ago on the award-winning BBC TV drama Perfect Strangers, but will now be performing on stage together for the very first time. The production will run at London’s Trafalgar Studios from 21 September 2019 to 30 November, with a press night on 2 October. Further casting will be announced soon.
Bri (Stephens) and Sheila (Skinner) have been struggling to care for their disabled 10-year old daughter Josephine ever since she was born. Nicknaming her “Joe Egg”, they lose themselves in fantasy games and black humour to help cope with the struggle of their daily reality.
Inspired by Nichols’ own experience of bringing up his disabled daughter in the 1960s, 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.
Toby Stephens said: “I’m thrilled to be part of a revival of this fantastic play. Reading it for the first time, I couldn’t believe that it had been written in the late sixties; it felt so vivid, dark and anarchically funny. The play still feels very raw and relevant, today. I’m very glad to be working with Claire Skinner again after quite a long interval – some 18 years! I think she is a very fine actor and I was really excited to hear that she wanted to do the play as well.”
Claire Skinner said:
“I’m really looking forward to coming back to the West End with this complex, thought-provoking and funny play and I’m also looking forward to working with Toby again after 18 years!”
Simon Evans said: “At a time when the act of living well from day to day seems tougher than ever, I can’t help but resonate with the characters in Joe Egg: displaying such wit, weakness, cruelty and courage as they struggle on. I’ve been a fan of Toby and Claire for years and the opportunity to explore Bri and Sheila with actors of their calibre, and share Peter’s seminal play again with a London audience, is such an honour.”
Toby Stephens: Theatre includes: Oslo, Private Lives (Chichester Festival Theatre and Gielgud Theatre), Danton’s Death (NT), The Real Thing(Old Vic), A Doll’s House (Donmar Warehouse), Betrayal (Donmar Warehouse), Japes (Theatre Royal, Haymarket), A Streetcar Named Desire (Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Country Wife (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Wallenstein (RSC), Unfinished Business(RSC), Tamburlaine (RSC), The Pilate Workshop (RSC), Hamlet – title role (RSC), Measure for Measure (RSC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Coriolanus – title role (RSC), All’s Well That Ends Well (RSC), Antony and Cleopatra (RSC), Britannicus (Almeida), Phèdre (Almeida and Brooklyn Academy Of Music)), Tartuffe (Playhouse) and Ring Round the Moon (Lincoln Center). TV includes: Lost in Space for Netflix, BBC2 Series Summer Rockets, Black Sails, And Then There Were None, Vexed, Robin Hood, Wired, The Wild West, Jane Eyre, The Best Man, The Queen’s Sister, Cambridge Spies, Perfect Strangers, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.
Claire Skinner: Theatre includes: Mrs Affleck, The Winter’s Tale, Othello, Blurred Lines and Invisible Friends for The National Theatre, Measure for Measure and The Blue Angel for RSC, The Father at The Tricycle and Wyndhams, The Importance of Being Earnest at Aldwych, The Glass Menagerie at Donmar and Comedy, Moonlight at Almeida and Comedy, Death Trap at Noel Coward, Rabbit Hole and Prism at Hampstead and most recently Nightfall at The Bridge. TV includes: Outnumbered, Power Monkeys, Next of Kin, Vanity Fair, Sense and Sensibility, Inside No9, Critical, Mr Understood, Dr Who.