|DramaCentre presents Joe Egg
RELEASED: Nov. 7, 2002
DANVILLE, KYCentre College drama students will present four performances of Peter Nichols' A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. Under the direction of Anthony Haigh, the shows run from Nov. 13-16 at 8 p.m. in Weisiger Theatre of the Norton Center for the Arts.
The cast includes Centre students Brendan Adkins (Bri), Alison Furlong (Grace), Will Johnston (Freddie), Katie McBride (Joe), Ginger Pennington (Sheila) and Emily Tate (Pam).
This powerful, penetrating black comedy illustrates the problems a married couple (Bri and Shelia) has in coming to terms with their 10-year-old, severely brain-damaged child. As they try to cope with their situation, Bri and Shelia resort to humor and fantasy as a way to get through each day. The couple invents conversations and personality traits for the child (nicknamed Joe Egg), even though she seems unable to communicate.
As the play progresses the audience sees that Bri has given up hope for his daughter and believes that her death would be a release, whereas Shelia believes Joe will one day recover. Humor becomes Bri's way of dealing with the traumatic situation, but Sheila's laughter is an attempt to keep Bri happy and the marriage together. Bri and Sheila's characters might be seen to represent the opposite sides of the moral argument about euthanasia.
Haigh, professor of dramatic arts at Centre, is the production's director. He comments, "Nichols is a playwright whose work focuses clearly on the way the comic mask hides the tragic."
Haigh suggests that "Nichols' deployment of sometimes tasteless comedy, to tackle a subject that one would expect to find approached with reverential naturalism, is what makes the play interesting, and in the end so truthful."
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.
Haigh is the Kentucky Theatre Association's representative to the Southeastern Theatre Conference. A native of England, he has directed for the Lexington Shakespeare Festival and has conducted Shakespeare workshops across the state. With funding help from the Kentucky Humanities Council, he developed a one-person play on the life of Samuel Drake, an Englishman who established the nation's first permanent professional theatre west of the Alleghenies.
Tickets may be purchased through the Norton Center box office at Centre by calling (859) 236-4692.
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