Discover his inspiration for the children’s story about a cheeky little fellow with big dreams of being in the spotlight.
Set and written in the 1960s – and now open at London’s Trafalgar Studios – A Day in the Death of Joe Egg tells the story of Bri and Sheila, who have been struggling to care for Josephine, their 10-year-old disabled daughter.
Sheila finds release through joining an amateur drama group, leaving Bri increasingly frustrated and paranoid that his wife is having an affair.
A Day in the Death of Joe Egg is considered groundbreaking for its time, and the issues faced by the two central characters still resonate with audiences today.
During the early ’70s, the play was adapted into a critically acclaimed film, and in 2002 a television version of the play was broadcast starring Eddie Izzard.
Storme Toolis, an actor who herself suffers from cerebral palsy, takes on the character of Joe Egg. It marks the first time that a disabled actor has been cast in the play’s pivotal role.
The actor is best known for portraying the daughter of Nicholas Lyndhurst’s retired policeman, Danny Griffin, in BBC One’s crime comedy New Tricks and has also appeared on the big screen in The Inbetweeners Movie.
Her recent theatre work saw her partner with The Barbican and Royal Shakespeare Company for Redefining Juliet.
Toolis comments: “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”.
Clarence Smith plays the role of Freddie and Lucy Eaton that of Pam.
Storme Toolis, Clarence Smith and Lucy Eaton join Patricia Hodge, Toby Stephens and Claire Skinner in the production.
The bittersweet comedy is directed by Simon Evans (Killer Joe).
The startlingly funny, critically acclaimed play by Peter Nichols runs until 30 November 2019 at Trafalgar Studios in the West End.
Tickets to see A Day in the Death of Joe Egg at Trafalgar Studios in London are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.