Main content

Mark Ravenhill: The Gall Bladder

As part of a series of reflections about organs of the human body, playwright Mark Ravenhill asks whether his identity has changed since his gall bladder was removed.

Five writers choose an organ of the body on which to write an essay. In this first edition, playwright Mark Ravenhill asks whether his identity has changed since his gall bladder was removed.

In a compelling synthesis of biology and literature, we'll hear the 'dark continent' of our inner body, scrutinised through its hidden constituents - the organs.

Across the series Mark Ravenhill, Christina Patterson, Daljit Nagra, Naomi Alderman and Ned Beauman, take on one of the body's mysterious organs. They reflect on the intestines, skin, lungs, gall bladder and appendix. In each case they've met an expert in their chosen organ who has regaled them with its medical function, but ultimately they express what the organ's significance is to them, linking to history, culture and personal experience.

"Jenkinson pushed the piece of paper back across the table to me. "With our contemporary access to food" he said, "we only need about ten per cent of the stomach's capacity". I looked down. He'd drawn a dotted line to create a thin tube of a stomach, cut free from the redundant ninety per cent, our hangover from hunter-gatherer days."
Mark Ravenhill, playwright, actor and journalist, on the Gall bladder.

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Mon 21 Sep 2015 22:45

Broadcasts

The Book that Changed Me

Five figures from the arts and science introduce books that changed their lives and work.

Download The Essay

Download all the episodes from the series and listen at your leisure.

Podcast