Whose Life Is It Anyway?

Written by Brian Clark

Thursday 5th May to Saturday 7th May and Tuesday 10th May to Saturday 14th May 1983

Directed by Lezley Picton

The dilemma posed of a medical profession committed to save on one hand, and an individual claiming the right to make his own decisions about his life on the other, is one that has struck a deep chord in the public imagination.

"If you're clever enough and sane enough to put up an invincible case for suicide, it demonstrates that you ought not to die."
"A deliberate decision to embark on a course of action that will lead inevitably to death is not 'ipso facto' evidence of insanity. If it were, society would have to reward many man with a dishonourable burial rather than a posthumous award for gallantry."

AuthorBrian Clark

Brian Clark (b 1932)

Born in Bristol, Clark was educated at the Central School of Speech and Drama (London) and subsequently the University of Nottingham. He taught in schools for eight years and was staff tutor in drama at the University of Hull from 1968 - 1972. Since then he has written over 20 television screenplays including 'Easy Go', 'Operation Magic Carpet', 'The Saturday Party','The Country Party' and 'Telford's Change'.

PlayWhose Life Is It Anyway?

Set in a hospital room, the action revolves around Ken Harrison, a sculptor by profession, who has been paralysed from the neck down (quadriplegia) in a car accident and is determined to be allowed to die. In the play, Clark presents arguments both in favour of and opposing euthanasia and questions to what extent government should be allowed to interfere in the life of a private citizen.

'Whose Life Is It Anyway?' was originally seen on television in 1972 but it took author Brian Clarke six years to find a West-End theatre management (Mermaid Theatre) who would risk presenting a play in which the central character is a quadriplegic faced with a future of total dependence on hospital care. The reworked play won a Society of West End Theatres Award, an Olivier Award and a Tony Award; and in 1981 was adapted in to a film and novel.

The Bench Production

Whose Life Is It Anyway? poster image

This play was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977.


Ken HarrisonDavid Penrose
Sister AndersonNicola Scadding
Nurse Kay SadlerJude Salmon
JohnDavid Urquhart
Dr ScottJo German
Dr EmersonPeter Corrigan
Mrs BoyleSylvia Brierley
Philip HillPeter Holding
Dr Paula TraversJane Hart
Peter KershawTerry Cattermole
Dr BarrJohn Kershaw
Andrew EdenDerek Cusdin
Mr Justice MillhouseRay Osborne


Director Lezley Picton
Stage Manager Robbie Cattermole
Assistant Stage Manager Gina Cameron
Lighting Paul Francis
Publicity Penny Francis

Production Photographs