Joe Egg NY |General Info | Announcements ( 11.08.02)| News | Reviews ( 03.12.02)

General Info

 Comedy Theatre
Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4DN
Tube Piccadilly Circus
Telephone 020 7369 1731

EDDIE IZZARD joins the cast of Peter Nichols' wonderfully
moving masterpiece at the Comedy Theatre from 5 December.
Joe Egg opened at the New Ambassadors Theatre
earlier this year to enormous and unanimous critical and public acclaim.

Eddie as Bri

pic courtesy of
[more info here]


by Peter Nichol

Location West End
Genre Drama
Previews from 5 Dec 01
Opens 11 Dec 01
Booking to 26 Feb 02
Closes 9  Feb 02
Time Mon-Sat at 7.30pm, Mats Thurs& Sat at 2.30pm (XMAS: No perfs 24, 25 or 26 Dec Additional matinee at 3.00pm on 28 Dec)
B/O Price œ10-œ32.50
B/O Tel Fee!
Standby Concs
Tickets Lashmars Theatre Tickets
Performers Eddie Izzard (replacing Clive Owen) (Bri), Victoria Hamilton (as wife Sheila), Prunella Scales (as Bri's mother Grace), John Warnaby (Freddie) and Robin Weaver (Pam)
Director Laurence Boswell
Design Es Devlin
Lighting Adam Silverman
Producer Sonia Friedman - Producer, Ambassador Theatre Group and Adam Kenwright.
Press Public Eye (020 7351 1555)
Synopsis The drama concerns 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, their marriage comes under increasing strain.
Length n/a
Review Review
Seating Plan Seating Plan
Map Map
Other Info Transfer from New Ambassadors



ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) presents a new Broadway production of PETER NICHOLS' play, A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG, directed by LAURENCE BOSWELL and starring EDDIE IZZARD as Bri and VICTORIA HAMILTON as Sheila at The American Airlines Theatre(227 West 42nd Street). Previews begin on March 14th, 2003. This is a limited engagement through May 25th, 2003.

Additional cast members will be announced shortly. The sets and costumes will be designed by ES DEVLIN.

A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG concerns Bri and Sheila, and their handicapped child (nicknamed Joe Egg) aged 10. The parents invent conversations and personality traits for the child, even though she seems unable to communicate in any way. As Bri and Sheila begin to fabricate scenarios, their marriage comes under increasing strain. Roundabout Theatre Company staged a production of A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG in January 1985 which won two TonyŽ Awards including Best Revival and a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Revival.

The Roundabout production was directed by Arvin Brown and starred Jim Dale as Bri and Stockard Channing as Sheila (TonyŽ Award for Best Actress). A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG was first presented at the Glasgow Citizen's Theatre in 1967. That same year it was produced in London where it won the Evening Standard Award as Best Play of the Year. A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG premiered on Broadway in 1968.

Ticket Information: Tickets for A DAY IN THE DEATH OF JOE EGG will go on sale in February 2003 and are available by calling Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300 or at the box office at the American Airlines Theatre at 227 West 42nd Street. Ticket prices range from $40-$65.


In Person:
American Airlines Theatre
Box Office 227 West 42nd Street
Open 10am - 8pm Tues. - Sat. for advance sales
Open 10am - 6pm Sun. & Mon. for advance sales
The Box Office will close at 6pm on any evening with no performance.

By Phone: Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300

NOTE: No official announcement has been made yet of Eddie's involvement, this info is provided just in case they do announcement which it seems like they'll do quite soon.

From the Ambassador Theatre Group

"Thank you for your kind letter relating to rumours of Joe Egg transferring to New York with Eddie Izzard. Whilst the play received great success in London, it is not currently on our schedule of confirmed projects to transfer the piece with Eddie to New York. Of course, theatre is constantly changing and should the right opportunity arise I'm sure that Joe Egg would be a strong contender to be revived abroad. Should the situation change I shall contact you again." (thanks Poco)

Joe Egg a Hit for BBCFour

Viewing figures are believed to be about 50 per cent higher for BBC4 than BBC Knowledge, the digital channel it replaced, which attracted between 4,000 and 10,000 viewers.

Some of BBC4's output has attracted audiences of 60,000 to 70,000, and highlights, such as the filmed version of the stage play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, starring Eddie Izzard, passed the 100,000 mark.

(thanks Mimi!)

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg transfer to Comedy 5th Dec starring Eddie Izzard

Peter Nichol's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg will transfer to the Comedy Theatre, when its run finishes at the New Ambassadors theatre on 24th Nov 01.

The show will open on 11th Dec 01, following previews from 5th Dec 01, and taking bookings to 26th Jan 02 at the Comedy Theatre. Eddie Izzard will join the cast to play, Bri, replacing Clive Owen who has to undertake a film project.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg was first produced at the Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow in May 1967 and subsequently transferred to London, where it won the Evening Standard Drama Award for Best Play. The 1971 award-winning film adaptation, directed by Peter Medak, starred Alan Bates, Janet Suzman and Peter Bowles. The play enjoyed a New York run in 1985, winning the Tony Award for Best Revival.

The drama concerns 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, their marriage comes under increasing strain.

Eddie Izzard (‘Bri’) was last seen in the West End in the Sir Peter Hall production of “Lenny”. Other theatre credits include “Edward II”, “900 Oneonta” and “The Cryptogram”. He has also appeared in several films, most recently in “The Cat’s Meow”, which has a general release this month.

Victoria Hamilton (‘Sheila’) has just finished filming Lewis Gilbert’s “Memory of Water” with Julie Walters, Patricia Hodge and John Hannah, which has a release date of 2002. TV work includes “Baby Father” recently shown on BBC2, “The Savages” and “Victoria and Albert”. Her theatre credits include “As You Like It” for which she won the 2000 Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, “Summerfolk” at the National Theatre, and “The Doctor’s Dilemma” at The Almeida. Victoria was the recipient of the 1996 Critics Circle Award for Best Newcomer and the 1996 Ian Charleson Best Newcomer Award.

Prunella Scales (‘Grace‘), has been performing on stage and screen since 1951 and is known to TV audiences world-wide as ‘Sybil Fawlty’ in the comedy “Fawlty Towers”. Her film work includes “The Boys From Brazil” and “Howard’s End”.

The cast also includes John Warnaby as ‘Freddie’ and Robin Weaver as ‘Pam’.

It is directed by Laurence Boswell, designed by Es Devlin with lighting by Adam Silverman.


(from What's On Stage)
Eddie Izzard Leads Joe Egg Back to Comedy
5 Dec

Laurence Boswell's critically acclaimed revival of Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg will receive a new lease of West End life next month when it transfers to the Comedy Theatre where, coincidentally, the play received its original London premiere in 1967. The production finishes its current limited run at the New Ambassadors Theatre on 24 November then reopens for another eight-week season at the Comedy on 5 December 2001.

At its new home, comedian Eddie Izzard will take over from Clive Owen as Bri, the young father struggling to come to terms with the burdens of caring for his brain-damaged daughter. His official opening night in the part will be on 11 December. Owen must leave at the end of the New Ambassadaros schedule due to filming commitments.

Izzard was last seen in a West End acting role in 1999, playing American comedian Lenny Bruce in Lenny. His other stage credits include The Cryptogram, Edward II and 900 Oneonta, while on film, he's appeared in Velvet Goldmine, Shadow of the Vampire and The Avengers. As a stand-up comedian, Izzard has a huge following for his touring comedy shows and videos such as Dress to Kill and Glorious.

The rest of the Joe Egg cast - Victoria Hamilton (as wife Sheila), Prunella Scales (as Bri's mother Grace), John Warnaby (Freddie) and Robin Weaver (Pam) - remains the same with the Comedy transfer. The production is designed by Es Devlin, with lighting by Adam Silverman and sound by Fergus O'Hare.

Boswell's revival is the first major London staging of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg since the original 1960s production. 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.

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.

Another Peter Nichols revival, his 1977 musical comedy Privates on Parade, opens next month at the Donmar Warehouse. It is directed by Michael Grandage and stars Roger Allam.

--thanks Gina & Mimi



Eddie as Bri

Joe Egg willl be broadcast on BBC4 in mid March 2002 (times/dates will be announced here when it is released). BBC4 is a new digital channel which will be available to UK digital subscribers in early March. (02.19)



thanks Claire and Sarah

From London Theatre Guide (thanks peggy):

Wednesday 2nd Jan 02
Joe Egg extends, Noises Off transfer delayed

Peter Nichol's A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, has been extended by two weeks at the Comedy Theatre and is now taking bookings to 9th Feb 02.

Dressed to thrill
BY CLIVE DAVIS | The Times | 12.13.01 (thanks Spoot)

Britain’s most versatile comic takes on another challenge

WHEN HE bared all in the role of Lenny Bruce on the West End stage two years ago, Eddie Izzard finally gave the gossip columnists something else to talk about besides his taste in women’s clothing. Izzard ventures further into the theatrical mainstream this week when he takes over from Clive Owen in the revival of Peter Nichols’s tragicomedy, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. While he is no stranger to straight acting, the play, inspired by Nichols’s experience of raising his handicapped daughter, represents one of the biggest challenges of Izzard’s career.

Casting comedians may be a safe way of filling seats in the West End, but there is a certain logic to recruiting Izzard, given the element of vaudeville running through the play. It will be fascinating to see how he deals with the scenes in which he addresses the audience directly.

At least we know that he enjoys stretching himself. Not many British comedians can claim to have given a stand-up performance in French, and Izzard is now considering a world tour in 2003 with the opening date in Berlin. The fact that he has not yet learnt the language seems a minor consideration. Izzard is also busily building his profile in Hollywood. Winning two Emmy awards last year for the video version of his show, Dress to Kill, did him no harm at all, and now there is the prospect of seeing him back in skirts in a Second World War movie, All The Queen’s Men — a tale of cross-dressing and code-breaking featuring the Friends star Matt LeBlanc — due out next year.

Izzard’s brand of erudite whimsy is not to all tastes: sceptics wonder if part of his comic appeal stems from his skill at flattering his audience’s intelligence. But the surest sign of Izzard’s success is the scores of comedians around the country trying to copy what he does. And failing, horribly.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Comedy Theatre, London SW1, until Jan 26 (020-7369 1731)

CV: Eddie Izzard

Born Yemen, February 7, 1962

Marital status Single

Secret of his success “The way I do it is to talk a lot of garbage. My career is talking rubbish”

Political views Very new Labour, very Europhile

Idols Monty Python: “I never wanted to be a stand-up. I just wanted to be a Python”

(from This is London)

Eddie plays it straight

Returning to its original 1967 home, Peter Nichols's heart-wrenching black comedy transfers to the Comedy Theatre with the brilliantly surreal Eddie Izzard stepping into the shoes of Clive Owen as the troubled teacher Bri.

The affable comedian, with a penchant for cross-dressing, may seem like an unusual choice of replacement for Owen's swarthy charms, but Izzard's casting is no commercial cop-out.

Despite some pretty unexceptional big-screen performances (think Velvet Goldmine and The Avengers), his biggest stage role to date, as the anarchic deadpan specialist, Lenny Bruce, revealed a talent for brooding disaffection - not what you'd expect from a man more commonly associated with comic riffs about decomposing fruit. And not a bad starting point for the character of Bri, Whose marriage is disintergrating under the strain of caring for a severely handicapped daughter (Joe Egg of the title).

The increasing demoralised father and husband also repeatedly addresses the audiance directly in stand-up monologue style: something that Izzard is clearly well over - qualified for.
The rest of the company remains unchanged,with the wonderful Victoria Hamilton extracting poignancy without pathos as Bri's struggling, but constant wife sheila and Punella Scales playing the insenitive middle-class mother to excruciating perfection.

Izzard set for West End return
Comedian Eddie Izzard is to return to the West End stage next month to star in A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg.

Izzard will replace Clive Owen as Bri in Peter Nichol's bittersweet comedy when it transfers to the Comedy Theatre.

The rest of the cast, including Victoria Hamilton and Prunella Scales, will stay in their roles. Owen has had to leave to begin a film project.

Today Izzard, who starts rehearsals on Monday, said: "The first night will be extraordinarily interesting. There will be five or six people up to speed - and one weirdo staring at them muttering is that your line or my line?"



Thanks Sarah and Mimi for scanning many of the pics!


Joe Egg advert screencaps

Kelsey & Eddie
thanks Kelsey (03.08)
Program & Pics!
thanks Mary Alice (02.09)

SURPRISE! Eddie & Randy
thanks Andy! (01.31)
Eddie onstage as Bri
thanks Claire! (01.07 & 01.08)


Joe Egg And Chips
Review by Michelle (01.03.02)

My only opportunity to see Joe Egg was at the matinee today – it was an opportunity that only became available two days ago so when I booked I had to take the best seat going. By the time I got to the Comedy Theatre today, I had just about come to terms with having to sit four rows way back from Eddie in row D seat 5. It was not the front row A10 to which I had become accustomed when I saw ‘Lenny’ three times – at that distance Eddie constantly spat on my shoe as he vehemently uttered forth as Mr Bruce – and I was able to catch two prized condom wrappers and a blue feather from his boa – all of which I keep proudly in my bag along with my extracted wisdom teeth! I have not yet met anyone who has shared my joy at the possession of any of these artefacts!

But scrambling back to Joe Egg. Brilliant! Fantastic! I went to the theatre already totally biased of course – as would be any reader of this webpage – only went to see Eddie, only waited to see Eddie, only wanted to see Eddie. And Eddie was at his tireless best. He was so capable, so enthralling, whilst still remaining so improvisationally awesome and downright girlie giggly! I sat on my own amongst a crowd of other women sitting on their own, listening to what was after all a desperately sad story, grinning from ear to ear throughout the whole performance. Ah, blisssssssssss.

Victoria Hamilton as ‘Bri’s’ heroic wife and Joe Egg’s mother was, in my opinion, definitely cast as the evil baddie. Anyone who spends night after night and even Thursday afternoons with Eddie’s tongue down her throat and hands up her jumper deserves to be booed off the stage and out of the galaxy. But wait – annoyingly she was brilliant too and, even after Eddie had tripped off stage at the end of the first half to leave ‘Sheila’ standing alone in the spotlight, I forgave her and settled down amongst my like minded peers to enjoy her acting talents. Lucky cow though!

And nine year old little Sophie Bleasdale (that seems a familiar surname!?) – she spent a lot of enviable time cuddled up to Eddie too, but I’ll forgive her aswell as she twitched and groaned her little heart out. A jolly good Egg I thought.

So as the final bow was taken I breathed in and stared hard to gather all I could of this last glimpse of Eddie Izzard – whenever he takes a bow he always looks a little whimsical and embarrassed as if he’s just awoken from a really naughty dream. No way can I last til the beginning of 2004 for a British tour – so he’d better come up with a few more thespian roles so I can book my centre front seat and enjoy another good spit!

Back to reality then - down on the tube clutching my programme proudly like a trophy and home again to a plate of chips with my young family. Maybe Eddie popped over to MacDs in Haymarket for a similar plate full. Just goes to prove these superduperstars are, as ‘Pam’ would say, P.L.U. – People Like Us.

These are the first of the fan reviews posted on the board. Thanks Spoot, Dorene and Moira for sharing!

"I had some slight trepidations about Eddie in this play, it is not for beginners, not much stage direction, hard to read at least for somebody not savvy about theatre. But I think he's got it, the comedy not surprisingly, but also the blackness and the despair.

He walked on the stage as the teacher and grabbed hold of the audience from the first word. There was power there. And then, in the next scene with his wife first, and then with Joe Egg, there was so much there to read, alienation, grief, mischief, cynicism, self pity. Underneath all the comedy, casting deep shadows on the laughter.

No he was not perfect, still hasn't completely mastered the role, and the other actors are still adjusting to his style. And I cannot tell how much being such a rapid fan, infects my view. But I am convinced now that he is what I always thought he might be, a powerful and creative actor."  -- Spoot

"He really grabbed it as Bri I felt; an extremely promising start.
The way he chewed up those lines was a coup on the first night of working it!

I was really impressed with the range of emotion that worked across his face, expressing pain, strain,sadness.
He was very believable as a teacher, casual/surly and jaded; very evident that he'd had it with the profession.Then with the kid he had a real tender voice and manner, while still conveying anger-or rather total despair-quite a trick to pull off.

His humour was a gift,of course. Many extra nuances of timing and expression , which the former actor really missed out.But additionally, Eddie's building,fuming intensity in the second act was very real. So much energy,roaming around the scene,drumming and flipping at things.
His face was always so poignant, even thru the comedy.He held a heavily lined brow, and with those open soulful eyes it was highly effective.The blackness of the humour and the pain of the situation was always evident.

There will be work to bring it together with the rest of the cast--they need to catch up with his energy (except Prunella Scales who was brilliant)and Eddie will no doubt up the intensity even more as he goes.

The thing is, I was so impressed with his ability to subtlely convey changing emotion in this difficult role--and on the stage not camera close-ups.The audience could find it so easy to like this guy that we could also follow the character into his other states. can tell I liked it. And it's a toughie. (and I had the background experience of seeing Albert Finney do it in NYC)

BRAVO,BRAVA!"  -- Dorene

"Well the first night is over and onwards to the next....a beautifully written black comedy about the lingering death of the pretty , but severely mentally handicapped egg and the infectious nature of that death on the marriage of her parents..not an easy subject or an easy play....peter nichols the author knows his subject well as his handicapped child died when she was ten and the understanding of the awfulness involved bites with the truth of experience..and thats the thing that struck me as i watched this play.. the understanding is there in this bri...he makes you laugh with his keenly placed wit...cringe with his neverending drive for recognition...and both haunts and pummels you with his despair...its there in his face right from the beginning and all the way through ,it is a very sensitive piece of acting camera this time was live and personal..and it worked....blackness was what this play needed as well as laughs a plenty and thats what is there now to be built on...night one show one was a success and it will just grow as it goes.... you know what ...he can act our fella...and im not saying that because im an izzardite although i am obviously .but because i love plays and theatre and the written word coming to life from the page..the death of joe egg is alive and doing very well and things can only get better...i was proud of you..thank you very much....." --



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