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Whose Life Is It Anyway review on www.chrishigh.com

WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY - written by Brian Clark
No Mean Company
Cumbernauld Theatre 6 & 7 May, 2005
Directed by Ann MacEwan & Linda Howitt

Promotional poster for 'Whose Life Is It Anyway'

Whose Life Is It Anyway

Whose Life is it Anyway - written by Brian Clark for the BBC in the early 1970s - has seen its share of high-profile productions.

It has been a Hollywood movie directed by John Badham and starring Richard Dreyfuss, and more recently attracted the attention of Broadway theatregoers when a version appeared starring Kim Catrall of Sex and the City infamy.

 

However, intrepid Cumbernauld amateur group No Mean Company, never ones to be intimidated by precedent, brought their own version to local audiences this weekend.

This is drama with an agenda, protesting on hehalf of patients whose personal needs and desires are overridden by well-intentioned expert opinion. It is the story of a sculptor, Ken Harrison, left imprisoned in his own useless body after a car crash.

Unable or unwilling to adapt to his vastly reduced circumstances, Ken decides the only course of action is for him to be discharged from hospital to die with whatever dignity he can muster. However, his consultant, Dr Emerson, has other ideas. He believes it is his sworn duty to preserve Ken's life whether he wants it or not.

What follows is a gripping drama which explores a truly provocative issue, and one which surely struck a chord with many in the audience. While they lack Oscar-winning acting heavyweights, the cast of local amateur performers showed a real sense of connection with the material which overcame any rough edges to the production.

My only real criticisms were that occasionally some of the dalogue was a little on the muffled side - particularly true of Duncan Weir as Ken Harrison, although I appreciate that spending the entire play lying prone in bed must surely play merry hell with one's delivery, and that the resolution seemed a little too brisk, but that fault likely has more to do with the material than this production.

On balance though, NMC lived up to their usual high standards, tackling a demanding piece with their trademark enthusiasm and proving that their flair for comedy ranges from light farce to the very blackest humour.

Review by Neil McGrory

Cast
Ken Harrison - Duncan Weir
Sister Anderson - Jo Grant
Kay Sadler - Karen Pender
John - Bob Faichnie
Dr Scott - Anne Gray
Dr Emerson - Calum Cormack
Mrs Boyle - Dorothy Roberts
Philip Hill - Joe Thomson
Dr Paul Travers - Tam Sutherland
Peter Kershaw - Paul Howitt
Dr Barr - Jo Gallagher
Andrew Eden - Robert Grice
Mr Justice Millhouse - Charlie Freil

Crew
Sound Operator - Geri Campbell
Lighting Operator - Angela Milton
Backstage Manager - Angelique Watt
Backstage Crew - Jon McLean, Emma Thomas
Lighting Design - Ann MacEwan
Set Design - Linda Howitt
  

  

  


Thanks to...
Cumbernauld Theatre, Apex Players, Chris High, Bill Winter, Mike Dorrance, Amanda Howson, Ronnie Graham, Kim Dillon, Joan McLelland, Beatrice Duncan, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Clyde Action
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