Storme Toolis, an actor with cerebral palsy, will star as Joe Egg in the upcoming West End revival of of Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, directed by Simon Evans. The play, written in 1967, was inspired by the playwright's own experience with his child's disability, and is about a family caring for their daughter who is affectionately nicknamed Joe Egg.
The revival will begin performances at Trafalgar Studios September 21 ahead of an October 2 opening.
Rounding out the cast are Clarence Smith (The Firm, RSC) as Freddie and Lucy Eaton (Daisy Pulls It Off, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Pam, who join Toby Stephens (Oslo, Lost In Space) as Bri, Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) as Sheila, and Patricia Hodge (Miranda, Downton Abbey) as Grace.
Athena Stevens (Scrounger, Redefining Juliet), Harry Attwell (Maleficent, Testament of Youth), and Rebecca Hands-Wicks (Monkey Bars, Portia’s Julius Caesar) are also in the cast.
“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,“ says Toolis. “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.”
The production is designed by Olivier Award winner Peter McKintosh, with lighting design by Prema Mehta and sound design and composition by Ed Lewis.
Playwright Nichols died September 7 in Oxford, England at age 92—just days ahead of the opening of the London revival. Joe Egg is scheduled to run through November 30. Visit Joeggplay.com for tickets and more information.