The National Theatre is giving NHS workers 1,400 tickets to see Michael Sheen in ‘Nye’

The National Theatre has a hit on its hand with ‘Nye’, Tim Price’s new play about founder of the NHS Aneurin Bevan, which stars national treasure Michael Sheen as the iconic Labour politician.

Although the play is, frankly, pretty weird in places – there’s a big song and dance number at one point – and deliberately avoids the type of sentimentality about the NHS that can creep into the national discourse, it also never lets you forget that it was Bevan’s signature achievement. The play is bookended by scenes set in hospital, and even when hopping through time to Bevan’s childhood and his time squaring up to Winston Churchill in the Houses of Commons the set is styled like a hospital.

It’s natural then that NHS staff should get a crack at seeing it, and thus it will prove on April 23 – St George’s Day – with 400 NHS workers having been invited to see it live on stage that night to watch the show that will simultaneously be broadcast into cinemas as part of the NT Live programme. London not being the entirety of the UK, a further 1,000 tickets have been given out to NHS workers to watch the live broadcast in Vue cinemas across the country.

Says Rufus Norris, NT artistic director and director of ‘Nye’: ‘I am honoured to extend a heartfelt invitation to NHS workers to share in this powerful story. This moment epitomises the National Theatre’s commitment to extending the reach of theatre to audiences wherever they are, both at the South Bank and through National Theatre Live. In collaboration with the NHS, we celebrate not only a historic moment, but also the ongoing journey to make theatre an accessible experience for everyone.’

The tickets are already allocated and ‘Nye’ is mostly – if not entirely – sold out, but you can still watch it live at most cinemas on April 23, while affordable rush tickets for the following week’s shows are released from the NT website at noon every Friday.

‘Nye’ is at the National Theatre until May 11. It will stream live to cinemas on Apr 23.

Read our review of ‘Nye’.

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