Venerable British Playwright Peter Nichols, Known for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Dies at Age 92

Venerable British Playwright Peter Nichols, Known for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Dies at Age 92
Peter Nichols in 2018 (Photo: Getty Images)

British playwright Peter Nichols, who is best known for his play A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, has died at the age of 92, according to his agent, Alan Brodie. He died on Saturday, September 7 in Oxford.

Nichols’ career was launched in 1959 when he won a BBC Bristol television playwright contest for his work A Walk on the Grass. This led to several other scripts and eventually to his first stage play, the 1967 hit A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which is about a couple raising their young daughter, who has cerebral palsy and is unable to communicate. It debuted at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and went on to play the West End and Broadway, where it was nominated for four 1968 Tony Awards and won one for Zena Walker (Best Featured Actress in a Play). The piece is based on Nichols life: his oldest daughter, Abigail, was severely disabled and died at the age of 11. Nichols adapted the play for the screen twice. It was revived on Broadway in 1985 and again in 2003. A West End revival is scheduled to begin previews on September 21 at Trafalgar Studios.

In addition to Joe Egg, Nichols wrote the 1977 farcical musical Privates on Parade, which later became a movie starring John Cleese, as well as Passion Play (called Passion when it debuted on Broadway in 1985), Poppy, GeorgyThe National Health, which garnered three Tony Award nominations (including Best Play) when it transferred to Broadway in 1975.He was appointed CBE in 2018.

Nichols, who was born in Bristol in 1927, is survived by his wife Thelma and their children, Dan, Louise and Catherine.