24 March 2008

A Day In The Death of Joe Egg

If your mood is very sunny side up this morning, you may want to move along to another Manic Monday contribution because the very first thing that came to mind was a very dark, hilarious, and blisteringly moving play by Peter Nichols and movie: A Day In The Death of Joe Egg.

The story is about a couple who are trying to save their marriage while trying to raise their child who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, is confined to a wheelchair, and is completely unable to communicate. It is an honest look at what it takes to deal with a special needs child by dipicting the extreme of that condition. Taking care of her has occupied nearly every moment of her parent's lives since her birth, and has virtually destroyed their marriage.

While both parents are committed to Josephine (nicknamed Joe Egg), Sheila, her mother, gives her as much of a life as she can. Her father, Bri wants the child institutionalised and has begun to entertain chilling fantasies of killing himself and Josephine.

In order to deal with the complexities of Joe Egg in their lives, Sheila and Bri invent conversations between themselves, their daughter, and even the audience with a running commentary on the struggles, the causes, the humor, and ultimately the destruction of their marriage. The dialogue is intense, revealing, and uncomfortable as you find yourself laughing and then coming up short against the tragedy. In the end as with most great plays it reveals the strengths and weaknesses in the human condition as we fall, rise, and triumph only to fall again as new challenges present themselves.

The play was nominated for four Tony awards in its first visit to Broadway and has been revived twice as well as being made into a motion picture.


Linda said...

I've never heard of this play but it certainly does sound like it would be quite the one to see.

I went for a more humorous approach this go-round.

Mariposa said...

Me too I've never heard of it...but now that you mentioned it...I have to search for it! Happy MM!

Alice - I Was Born2Cree8 said...

Great post, Jamie. Sounds like a great play.

Happy Easter Manic Monday

Gattina said...

That's a rather sad subject but apparently presented with a lot of humour ! Happy to see that the guy's name is Egg and not Smith, lol !

Nancy Lindquist-Liedel said...

The truth, from my point of view, is that, "special" people don't get, "Special needs children," people do. They're not stronger, better, more special, tougher, or more well equipped than any parent. They just are. At least we just are. I just am. It's normal to lose yourself in your life and your problems. It easy to lose one another in a marriage and damn hard to stay on track. We fight to stay together. Most special needs parents work darn hard at their marriages, so this play sounds really honest. I like that.

Sanni said...

Sounds like a great play, Jamie! Thaks for introducing!

I´ll have to find out the German title to watch it!

Happy Manic Easter Monday!

Mo said...

I've never seen this play either - will have to see if the movie is available at NetFlix.
Happy Manic Monday!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Well, my mood is sunny side up...but I read your post anyway. I haven't heard of this play or movie, but I would watch it. Sounds inspirational to me. Have a great MM Jamie. :)

the teach said...

Oh Jamie, the greatest sorrow is having a severely disabled child that you and your spouse must devote your entire life too. I don't think I would choose to watch this play... I don't think there would be too much uplifting for me...

Travis said...

Disabled children can be a burden and a joy, all wrapped up in the same package.

But I've never been able to watch this film. Just a little too intense for me.

Happy MM!