Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, March 08, 2024

Nye @ National Theatre...

Last night Stuart and I went to see Michael Sheen take on Nye at the National Theatre on London's glitzy South Bank.
The casting director needs an award, Mr Sheen is in his element as Welsh Labour politician, NHS founder, and left-wing fire-brand Nye Bevan. 
Born in a Welsh mining town, Bevan was bullied by his teacher as a young boy for his stammer, and spent some time working down a coal pit.
His beginnings in local council and union politics saw him eventually progress to Parliament. There he became a fierce but lone vocal critic against Churchill during the war.
Sheen's performance is electrifying. There is a fantastic ensemble too.
The set design is also very clever. Sliding hospital curtains tumble around as if in a dream. And indeed, most of the action takes place as Bevan lays ill on his death-bed in bed having morphine-induced fever-dreams remembering his past.
My only minor quibble might be we don't get to see or hear quite enough of Bevan the man, what makes him tick. Aside from his sense of (in)justice. 
Sharon Small too, who plays his self-sacrificing wife Jennie Lee (also an MP for a number of years), gets all too brief a crack of the whip.
That said, it's a thrilling show with a climax that is rousingly poignant.
If you want to know how the NHS started - this is the show for you.


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