A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

Theatre director Phillip Breen discusses forthcoming adaptation of Peter Nichols' play

Phillip Breen is only 32, but already he has the honour of straddling three regimes at the Citz. Straight out of university in 2003, he was taken on by Philip Prowse to direct The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, returning at the invitation of Jeremy Raison to direct The Shadow of a Gunman and The Caretaker. Now, with the arrival of Dominic Hill as artistic director, he is back with A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Peter Nichols’ bitter-sweet comedy about a couple and their disabled child.

By chance, it was a play he always dreamed of staging at the Citz without realising it was here in 1969 that it had its premiere. For him to open the autumn season with the play – with Miriam Margolyes and Miles Jupp in the cast – is a particular thrill.

‘It must have been in the walls somehow,’ says Breen, who directed Humphrey Ker in Dymock Watson: Nazi Smasher!, winner of the best newcomer gong in this year’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards. ‘The play wasn’t conceived for the Citizens, per se, but there is something about the self-consciously performed vaudeville nature of the first half that lends itself to an old variety hall.’

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 19 Oct–Sat 12 Nov.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

A poignant comedy about a harassed couple who confide in the audience with jokes and rituals as a way of deflecting their own and each other's attention from their inward heart-ache. Presented by the Citizens Company.

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