Iranian troupe performs “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” 

June 18, 2021 - 18:55

TEHRAN – An Iranian troupe led by director Saeid Heshmati is performing British writer Brian Clark’s play “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” at the Gelayol Hall of Tehran’s Shahrzad Theater Complex.

Ahmad Kasaipur is the translator of the play and Paria Yaqubi, Iman Emadi, Nilufar Parsa, Atefeh Ghazanfari, Elham Salari and Nima Hashemisersht are the main members of the cast.

The story of the play is set in a hospital room and the action revolves around Ken Harrison, a sculptor by profession, who was paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident and is determined to be allowed to die.

Clark presents arguments both in favor of and opposing euthanasia and to what extent government should be allowed to interfere in the life of a private citizen. In portraying Ken as an intelligent man with a useless body, he leaves the audience with conflicting feelings about his desire to end his life.

“Whose Life Is It Anyway?” was adapted from Clark’s 1972 television play of the same title, which starred Ian McShane. 

The stage version premiered in 1978 at the Mermaid Theatre in London, and subsequently opened on Broadway in 1979.

A film adapted by Reginald Rose and directed by John Badham was released in 1981, starring Richard Dreyfuss, John Cassavetes and Christine Lahti.

Author David Benedictus adapted the play into a novel, which was also released in 1981.

Clark, best known for “Whose Life Is It Anyway?”, was born in Bristol, United Kingdom, the son of a blacksmith. 

He was educated at the University of Nottingham. He married Maggie Clark, his first wife, and raised two sons. Clark has taught in schools, colleges and universities and was a member of the Drama Department at the University of Hull from 1968 to 1972.

His credits also include other television plays including “Easy Go”, “Operation Magic Carpet”, “The Saturday Party” and “The Country Party”.

Photo: A poster for Brian Clark’s play “Whose Life Is It Anyway?”.