TEHRAN – Iranian director Saeid Heshmati will reprise “Whose Life Is It Anyway?”, British dramatist Brian Clark’s play, which he staged in Tehran in June and July 2021.
His troupe will give its first performance on Wednesday at the Shahrzad Theater Complex, which will host the group until July 1.
Nima Hashemiseresht, Hedyeh Hashemi, Kimia Khalaj, Ali Riahi and Donya Madani are the main members of the cast.
The group will perform “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” based on a Persian translation by Ahmad Kasaipur.
The play has been staged by several other Iranian directors.
Farid Adhami directed it at Tabriz Theater in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz in 2019.
In addition, Askan Kheilnejad staged the play at Tehran’s Iranshahr Theater Complex in 2014. Ken Harrison was portrayed by Navid Mohammadzadeh, the winner of the Orizzonti Award for Best Actor for his role in “No Date, No Signature” at the 74th Venice Film Festival in 2017.
It is a play Clark adapted from his 1972 television play of the same title. The stage version premiered in 1978 at the Mermaid Theatre in London, and subsequently opened on Broadway in 1979. The play involves a sculptor who is paralyzed.
Set in a hospital room, 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.
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: Members of director Saeid Heshmati’s cast perform “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” at the Shahrzad Theater Complex in Tehran on July 17, 2021. (Tehran Picture Agency/Parto Joghatai)
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