Michael Billington: Well yes, Peter Nichols is a major writer and in 1967 he wrote a play called A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, a comedy but it's a comedy about disability and what it's like for a married couple to grow up with a severely handicapped child. Now this play was written out of personal experience; Peter and Thelma Nichols had had exactly that. And what the play says is you can't treat this minute by minute, hour by hour, as a terrible tragedy; you have to find a way of living with it, of coping with it and the way is to make comedy out of it. I think that was an important play because it sort of shifted people's attitudes to this very subject. It made us aware yes, of the awful problems of bringing up a disabled child but it also showed us how people cope with it. Brilliant play.
CONFERENCE: This two-day conference will explore materials, techniques and artistic interconnections across Europe, including the role played by those who commissioned or sought sculptural works of art from foreign artists.
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