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Peter Nichols - An obituary

Peter Nichols – playwright
Born July 31, 1927; died September 7, 2019
Peter Nichols, who has died aged 92, was a master of serious fun in his plays, which combined auto-biographical material with a relish for popular theatrical forms. Nowhere was this more evident than in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, his 1967 hit which premiered at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, and focused on a young couple’s travails in raising their disabled daughter. As they tend to Joe’s needs, both the couple individually and their marriage survive through a series of comedy routines that barely disguise the cracks in their relationship.
Directed by Michael Blakemore, and with comedian Joe Melia and Zena Walker playing the couple, the play’s mixture of music hall style addresses to the audience and at times heart-breaking seriousness was genuinely taboo-busting, and had to circumnavigate the Lord Chamberlain’s office, which still had the power to censor anything deemed ill-fitting for a respectable stage.
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