His replacement, in the role of a harassed father of a mentally handicapped child, will be played by the comedian and actor Izzard, whose trademark onstage penchant for hints of the transvestite will presumably be left in the dressing room when he appears on stage.
Izzard's combination of intelligence and eccentricity is well suited to the role of Bri, and will likely attract a number of people who might not be regular theatregoers but are fans of his comic style.
Playwright Peter Nichols will, from the end of November, have two plays running in London, when the Donmar revives his Privates on Parade, starring Roger Allam and Malcolm Sinclair. Joe Egg runs through Jan. 26.
New Ambassadors Box Office: 020 7836 6111.