Peter Nichols: British playwright dies aged 92

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Peter NicholsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Peter Nichols was awarded a CBE for services to drama in 2018.

The British Playwright Peter Nichols has died at the age of 92, his agent has confirmed.

The Bristol-born writer was best known for plays like A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg and Privates On Parade.

His agent, Alan Brodie, issued a statement on behalf of Nichol’s family calling him “one of Britain’s foremost playwrights”.

He added he “died peacefully on Saturday morning in Oxford. His wife Thelma was at his bedside.”

A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg, which was first staged at the Glasgow Citizens Theatre in 1967, centres on a British couple struggling to save their marriage whilst trying to raise a disabled child.

A new production of the play is about to open in London starring Toby Stephens, Patricia Hodge and Claire Skinner.

The musical comedy Privates on Parade was inspired by Nichols’ own experiences in the real-life Combined Services Entertainment, which provided live entertainment to the British armed forces.

It was adapted for the big screen in 1982, starring John Cleese, and was revived in 2012 as the opening production of the first season from the Michael Grandage Company at the Noël Coward Theatre in London, with Simon Russell Beale in the lead.

Image copyright Rune Hellestad – Corbis
Image caption Eddie Izzard and Victoria Hamilton starred in an adaptation of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg in 2001

His other plays include The National Health, Forget-Me-Not Lane and The Freeway.

Nichols was awarded a CBE for services to drama in 2018.

Writer and director Steven Unwin said on Twitter he would be “much missed”.

He was “An utterly remarkable, provocative, searingly honest and surprisingly heartbreaking playwright,” he added.

Sir Howard Panter, who is producing A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg at Trafalgar Studios, said in a statement: “Peter was one of British theatre’s greatest writers of the last 60 years.

“As the company rehearse Joe Egg – his funny, moving and perhaps greatest masterpiece – ahead of its West End opening next week, Peter to his very last was emailing notes and involved in the production as he had always done.

“We are so pleased we have been in rehearsals for long enough for the company to hear from Peter his experience of bringing up his daughter and how that informed Joe Egg. Bringing the authenticity that was a hallmark of Peter’s work.”

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