Photos Reviews

Whose Life is it Anyway?

May 1982

by Ted Willis, directed by Anne Bacon


Ken Harrison - Dick Dann

Sister Anderson - Mary Jones

Nurse Kay Sadler - Alison Lambourne

John, an orderly - Anthony Morris

Dr. Scott - Alison Ley

Dr. Emerson - Philip Jones

Mrs. Boyle - Lynn Trout

Philip Hill - Mike Jeans

Dr. Travers - Margaret Butt

Peter Kershaw - Ben Grimsey

Dr. Barr - Fred Lewes

Andrew Eden - Richard Thorne

Mr. Justice Millhouse - John Butt

Production Team:

Director - Anne Bacon

Prompt - Joyce Evans

Stage Manager - Richard Thorne

Set Design - Anne Bacon

Set Construction - Brian Bowker, Barry Matthews, Mike Trout & Roy Wheeler

Props - Sybil Hopson, Diana Lucas & Carol Pettit

Lighting - Steve Langfield & Peter Willoughby

Sound - David Stevens

Costume - Olive Rumford

Make-up - Karen Barrett

Publicity - Lynn Trout

Printing - Don Badger

Photographs - Nigel Cheffers-Heard

Front of House - Anne Atkinson


From Estuary News:

....Dick Dann was brilliant....

Estuary Players at the Barnfield Theatre

For much of the play Whose Life Is It Anyway? the spotlight is on one character and upon the dilemma which he presents for those about him. Physically inactive through paralysis, mentally hyperactive by nature, the invalid demands an end to what he perceives as his pointless existence. In this central role Dick Dann was brilliant, maintaining the pressure on those who opposed him, primarily senior hospital staff, through a range of sharp-edged badinage and forceful argument.

To sustain the conflict of professional ethics, morality and compassion the other roles in the play required sensitive interpretation and development. Of these the consultant, played by Philip Jones, and the sister, by Mary Jones had critical significance in representing a conventional, professional yet humane attitude towards the patient and the problem. Both achieved this with great conviction, as did Alison Ley in the reciprocal role of junior doctor, succumbing to the arguments of the patient and exposing the personal disorientation which the situation provoked. It was a difficult role, well played.

In all the other parts the strength of the company was again demonstrated, and it was particularly commendable that the medical characters had the complete semblance of clinical competence. The professional deportment was similarly portrayed with assurance and accuracy by Mike Jeans, John Butt and others as members of the legal world drawn in to resolve the predicament.

The play is a neatly effective instrument for opening up a deeply controversial issue. As presented by Estuary Players it was well done, not least because of the high standard of set-design and construction. Space was used concisely, an antiseptic atmosphere was engendered and hospital routine established. The on-stage electrics worked; the walls and the doors did not shiver.

In exploiting the company's resources, front and back stage, Ann Bacon as director is again to be congratulated. Her contribution to the growth of Estuary Players has been substantial and the latest successful performance at the Barnfield was yet more proof of this.

- Reviewed by: J.S.B.


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