(Chris Wiegand’s article appeared in the Guardian, 9/9.)

The British writer, whose plays include Privates on Parade and The National Health, died on Saturday

The playwright Peter Nichols, who was best known for his anarchic, acerbic and semi-autobiographical black comedies, has died at the age of 92. His agent, Alan Brodie, confirmed that Nichols died on Saturday in Oxford.

Nichols had a hit in 1967 with A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, about a married couple raising their daughter who is severely disabled. The play debuted at the Citizens theatre in Glasgow then transferred to the West End in London and to Broadway, where it was nominated for four Tony awards. For this ground-breaking drama about disability, Nichols drew upon the early years of his marriage and the life of his eldest daughter, Abigail. “She went into hospital at four and stayed there till she died,” Nichols said, describing her life as “a sort of living death”. The play was adapted for a 1972 film, has had several high-profile revivals and returns to the West End this month in a new production at the Trafalgar Studios in London, directed by Simon Evans and starring Toby Stephens, Claire Skinner and Patricia Hodge.

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Photo: BBC News

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