Q & A with Faeron Wheeler of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg

Q1: What is A Day in the Death of Joe Egg about?

Joe Egg revolves around a couple – Sheila and Brian – and how they deal with raising a severely disabled child. In the first act, the couple tell about the birth and all of the problems that arose shortly there after. In the second act, their friends Freddie and Pam (my character) come over to offer advice and ‘help’ them. Just to add to the chaos, Brian’s mother in law also pops round.

In essence, it’s a comedy that deals with a subject many people have difficulty talking about. The writing comes from a very real place, as playwright Peter Nichols was exploring his own experiences of raising a disabled child through this play.

Q2: What drew you to the project and your character?

The play deals with a subject that is often quite difficult to talk about – disability. It was written in 1967, but is still completely relevant today. It’s a very well written piece that breaks quite a few conventions to create really interesting theatre.

I play a character who is completely uncomfortable with anything out of the ordinary. It’s been quite a journey to come to terms with my own feelings when it comes to dealing with disability and finding the truth in Pam’s reactions to the situation.

Q3: Why should people watch it?

The play tackles a very difficult subject matter without beating you over the head with ‘a message’. The structure of the piece is interesting in how it allows the characters to interact in their world on stage, and still break the fourth wall to talk directly to the audience.

It’s a challenging piece of theatre that will leave you thinking.

Q4: What do you hope that people take away from the show?

That human responses to things that aren’t ordinary can’t be controlled. We shouldn’t try to sensor ourselves or be too harsh on ourselves if we end up in a situation that is uncomfortable.

Q5: What would you tell the Humans of New York guy if he wanted to post your story?

I told my parents when I was 12 that I wanted to be an actress and I haven’t grown out of it yet… Of course, at that time I wanted to be a famous actress and make huge action movies. Now I know that I don’t care about the image of the acting lifestyle. As long as I’m on stage, rehearsing for something or in front of the camera, I’m happy.

Watch Faeron in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg at the Masque Theatre from 31 July to 8 August. For bookings call  021 788 1898 or email bookings@masquetheatre.co.za. Follow the show on Facebook here.
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