Storme Toolis Joins Cast of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg in London's West End

Storme Toolis Joins Cast of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg in London's West End
Storme Toolis, Toby Stephens & Claire Skinner in rehearsals for "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg"
(Photo: Myles Wright)

Producers of the upcoming West End revival of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg have announced that Storme Toolis, an actress with cerebral palsy, will portray the dark comedy's central character, Josephine. The groundbreaking play, inspired by the late playwright Peter Nichols' own experience raising his disabled daughter in the 1960s, is scheduled to run from September 21 through November 30 at Trafalgar Studios. Toolis will be the first actress with a disability to play the role of Josephine in West End history. Simon Evans is at the helm of the production, which is also slated to star the previously announced Toby Stephens, Claire Skinner and Patricia Hodge.

Toolis said, "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. 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 1960s, 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."

Best known for her turns on BBC One's comedy crime drama New Tricks and the film The Inbetweeners Movie, Toolis has enjoyed a varied career on both the big and small screen. Her recent theater work includes Redefining Juliet, which was filmed for a BBC documentary.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg centers on Bri (Stephens) and Sheila (Skinner), who have been struggling to care for their disabled 10-year-old daughter Josephine (Toolis) ever since she was born. Nicknaming her Joe Egg, they lose themselves in fantasy games and dark humor to help cope with the struggle of their daily reality.

Newly announced cast members also include Clarence Smith (The Firm) taking on the role of Freddie and Lucy Eaton (Daisy Pulls It Off) as Pam.

The production will feature scenic design by Peter McKintosh, lighting design by Prema Mehta and sound design/composition by Ed Lewis.