Review: Nye – Wales Millennium Centre by Patrick Downes

To see a world class performer at the height of his game is a wonderful thing to behold. 

To see Usain Bolt at London 2012, or Freddie Mercury at Live Aid are two moments such as this. 

The third is Michael Sheen as Aneurin Bevan in Nye the National Theatre/Wales Millennium Centre co-production currently playing at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

He delivers a masterful performance as Nye Bevan, the architect of the NHS. His portrayal captures Bevan’s passionate commitment to social justice, his fiery oratory skills, and the personal sacrifices he made for his vision. Sheen’s nuanced acting brings depth to Bevan’s character, portraying him not just as a historical figure but as a man driven by a profound sense of duty and compassion. This role showcases Sheen’s ability to inhabit complex characters and make them resonate powerfully with contemporary audiences.

The ensemble and staging are breath-taking as is the storytelling and how it’s portrayed. Granted at the start, a little confusing, but the beat of the narrative is soon at a pace where the viewer is able to tell different times.  The staging and direction effectively evoke the era, immersing the audience in the political and social challenges of the time. 

It will take you on an emotional rollercoaster and you’ll see historic references which in turn are as truthful today as they were then – maybe more so now with so much heart behind the story. 

Overall, “Nye” is an inspiring and poignant celebration of a pivotal figure in British (and Welsh) history.

Review: @ImPatrickDownes


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