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Michael Sheen as Nye Bevan in National Theatre Live's Nye

National Theatre Live: Nye

Tue 21 May


a new play by Tim Price
directed by Rufus Norris

Michael Sheen as Nye Bevan in National Theatre Live's Nye

★★★★ ‘Michael Sheen is a blazing presence’ – Broadway World

Michael Sheen plays Nye Bevan in a surreal and spectacular journey through the life and legacy of the man who transformed Britain’s welfare state and created the NHS.

Confronted with death, Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan’s deepest memories lead him on a mind-bending journey back through his life; from childhood to mining underground, Parliament and fights with Churchill.

Written by Tim Price and directed by Rufus Norris (Small Island), this epic new Welsh fantasia will be broadcast live from the National Theatre.


Show Guidance

  • Run-time: 3 hours approx (incl. 20 minutes interval)
  • Age guide: 15+
  • Access: Wheelchair spaces and companion tickets are available.
  • This production takes place in a hospital setting and includes references to medical conditions and procedures throughout.
  • Contains the use of strong language.


From Tredegar to Westminster

An extract from Neil Kinnock’s programme article for Nye

Unlike most others, Bevan could be compelling in all of the public arenas. He excelled in the tumult of a crowded Commons or in the conversational close combat of a Standing Committee. He commanded conference platforms and was compelling at party rallies or on the Trafalgar Square plinth, winning against hecklers, the elements and primitive tannoy systems.

His voice was not sonorous. Its tone and rhythm flowed with his vocabulary and emphasis. His forward-leaning body and jabbing forefinger carried the same current. From the dark depths of soft solemnity he would rise very gradually, through a fusillade of illustrations and – with a warning grin – jokes, to a crescendo of incredulity, scorn and demand for action. The occasional sibilant stutter would add to the machine-gun delivery and then, having given the moral or message, he would ram it home with a forceful damning, dismissive or revelatory conclusion. He could use honeyed charm or rhetorical acid, deploy understatement and risk abusive overstatement, be reconciling and impulsive, demonise and satirise.

All the time he sought to give effect to his credo that a political leader in a democracy ‘must articulate the wants, the frustrations, the aspirations of the masses. Their hearts must be moved by his words, and so his words must be attuned to their realities’.

  • Tue 21 May
  • 19:00 to 22:00 (180 minute run time including 20 minute interval)
  • Advance Prices: £6 UoE Students, £10 Concession, £15 Full / On the Door Prices: £8 UoE Students, £12 Concessions, £16 Full
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