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First night - 26.01.05
Kim Cattrall
Brian Clark's 1978 play has been rewritten to accomodate a female lead, played here by Kim Cattrall
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To be or not to be? Kim Cattrall wrestles with a life and death decision in her West End debut, watched by Mark Shenton...

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Whose Life Is It Anyway? is at the Comedy Theatre, Panton Street SW1
Tickets £10 -
£40
Booking to 30 April 2005
Box office: 0870 060 6637

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Whose Life Is It Anyway? (Comedy Theatre)
You may not be surprised to hear that Kim Cattrall – who played the sexually voracious Samantha Jones in the long-running TV series Sex and the City – spends her West End debut lying flat on her back, flirting outrageously with any passing man and inviting opinions on the attractiveness of her breasts.

Typecasting? Actually, it’s anything but.

"For once, it's no insult to accuse an actor of acting from the neck up: that's literally all the movement that Cattrall's character has at her disposal..."

In this revival of Brian Clark's 1978 play, she plays a sculptor who has suffered a severed spinal cord in a catastrophic car accident and is now quadriplegic.

Propped up in a hospital bed in a unit for critical patients, she's been there for five months already when the play begins.

For once, it's no insult to accuse an actor of acting from the neck up: that's literally all the movement that her character Claire Harrison has at her disposal.

But now that her condition is stable – but not likely to improve – the hospital is looking to move her on somewhere quieter instead.

Except that Claire doesn't want to go anywhere – she wants to die. And now.

mordant wit

But as well as the physical injuries she sustained, the hospital cite her mental trauma as causing a clinical depression, which leads them to section her under the Mental Health Act.

So begins the fight - not for her life but for her right to die.

Kim Cattrall
Heartfelt commitment: Kim Cattrall as quadriplegic Claire Harrison

Brian Clark's play continues to have a blazing topical relevance and resonance, as battles like this continue to be fought in the courts on a regular basis.

And the playwright arms Claire with a mordant wit and keen intelligence that makes the play as gripping as it is sometimes grim.

Cattrall brings a heartfelt commitment and piercing vulnerability to the role of a woman wrestling with a life and death decision: to be or not to be, that is her question.

But though the show revolves around her, it's no one-woman play, but a keenly observed drama in which the life of the hospital also comes into perspective in performances like those of the doctors (Alexander Sidding, William Chubb), nurses (Ann Mitchell, Emma Lowndes) and orderly (Jotham Annan), as well as the lawyer (Amita Dhiri) whom she engages to get her out of there.

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Jay Jay
Dosent she have a scene where her diaper is changed?

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