How does Brian Clark make his play Whose life is it anyway?
Interesting, Memorable and Dramatic for a modern audience.
Brian Clark makes “whose life is it anyway?” an interesting memorable
play for a modern audience by using a wide variety of techniques that
are available when writing plays. The play addresses a range of
modern day issues. Recently Charlotte Wyatt’s case and Christopher
Reeves’ death have broadened the awareness of the issue of euthanasia
and the right to die or be resuscitated. In some of these cases the
Hippocratic Oath has complicated things. This happens in Ken’s
situation in the play. He wants to stop treatment but the
professionalism of the doctor’s are stopping him. Even though some of
them would let him die or help if they weren’t doctors they have to
stick to the Hippocratic Oath. Brian Clark used different character
levels and different language to show authority levels. A lot of this
language is used in the first few pages.
Act one Page One
“Going down- obstetrics, Gynaecology, lingerie, rubber wear.”
This is one of Ken’s humorous lines with mentions of medical
terminology. The other language used is cheekier. This is
appropriate to his situation because it is a reference to sex which he
makes even though he is unable to carry out because he is paralysed
from the neck down so unable to have sex. This suggests that Ken has
a naughty sense of humour making him a more interesting character.
However it becomes more apparent that his sexual frustration is
getting to him more and more throughout the play.
Act one page 34
I’ve only a piece of knotted string between my legs yet I still have a
He says this to Dr Scott it shows tremendous sexual desire and he
can’t do anything about it.
In the first act there is a blend of black humour, medical drama and
setting the scene in the hospital. Ken’s use of black humour masks
his true feelings. However bad his predicament gets he still manages
to cover up his real feelings except when talking to John. In act one
for example he confides in John.
“You must be in charge of the compost heap. That’s where I should
This shows he feels at ease with John and can reveal what he really
feels to the friendly ward orderly. Ken’s character in the play is an
interesting one. Before his accident he was a very talented
sculptor. He is intelligent and has a broad knowledge. He has
obviously thought his decision through clearly. In act two we find
out he has distanced himself from his fiancée and his parents so he
doesn’t hurt them. This knowledge helps the play be more interesting
and gives us a bit of inside knowledge. Ken obviously feels isolated
and on his own in his room and inside himself. We find more about
this when he speaks to Mrs Boyle.
Act One Page 26:
Mrs Boyle: “My goodness they have improved this room it used to be
really dismal. All dark green and cream. It’s surprising what a few