First staged almost 40 years ago, Brian Clark’s iconic play about the choice between life and death is just as relevant today as when Tom Conti took the central role in that first 1978 West End production.
Three years later came the film version that even more people may remember. This time, Richard Dreyfuss took the role of Ken, a talented sculptor trying to cope with life – and contemplating death – as a paraplegic after a horrific car accident leaves him paralysed from the neck down.
The real life case of Tony Nicklinson, the British man with locked-in syndrome who fought for the right to die in 2012 when he felt life had become unbearable, had many parallels with Ken’s story. His story kept dying with dignity high on the political agenda, where guidelines are still unclear.
Running until Saturday at the Key Theatre Studio, Mask Theatre brings this powerful story to a Peterborough audience. It may sound worthy and depressing, but thanks to Ken’s wit and feeling, it both entertains and challenges the audience to think about his situation. Should he have the ultimate right to choose his own destiny? Does his doctor, who regards death as an adversary to be fought at all costs, have the right to keep him alive?
Whichever side of the medical divide you are, you will be gripped by the issues of medical intervention, the right to die and freedom of choice.
Tickets from the box office on 01733 207239.