NATIONAL THEATRE WALES CALLS OUT FOR PERSONAL STORIES ABOUT THE NHS
TO INSPIRE SEVEN PRODUCTIONS CELEBRATING ITS 70THBIRTHDAY IN 2018
One year ahead of the National Health Service’s 70th birthday, National Theatre Wales is today calling for patients, families and staff, past and present, to share stories of their own experiences of the NHS.
On 5 July 1948, one of the biggest ideas ever to come out of Wales was born. The brainchild of Ebbw Vale MP and the UK’s Health Minister Aneurin “Nye” Bevan, the National Health Service was a revolutionary idea, formed along with the Welfare State during Britain’s austere post-war period, and under the principle of collective responsibility. It grew to be an extraordinary institution that has employed generations, and for many Britons is the first and last public service they’ll ever use.
National Theatre Wales calls on everyone and anyone in Wales to share their stories – anonymously if preferred - of the impact the NHS has had on their lives; from patients, doctors, school nurses, porters, speech therapists, cleaners, surgeons, relatives, administrators and everyone in between, about anything from straightforward GP appointments to life-saving operations, taking in mental health and every branch of medicine, from obstetrics to palliative care. We want stories that take in the tragic and comic, from Anglesey to Newport, from psychiatry to podiatry, from 1948 to the present day, and from cradle to grave.
National Theatre Wales has today released a video, filmed at the Aneurin Bevan Stones near Tredegar, in which NTW’s Artistic Director, Kully Thiarai, appeals to anyone with a story to share about their experiences in or with the NHS, to get in touch. The video can be viewed here:nationaltheatrewales.org/nhs70
“My daughter had her first operation at six months and the staff at Morriston Hospital were incredible. I have never forgotten the anaesthetist's reassurance that his sole focus would be watching her and he would return her safely to me after her operation….”
Forty-year-old mother, Cardiff
Working with communities and artists, and inspired in part by the personal stories gathered, National Theatre Wales will create a series of seven multi-platform productions, made and performed live across the country and online in July 2018 – collectively titled NHS70.
Get in touch…
The seven productions will form a love letter to the NHS, from the country of its birth. National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director, Kully Thiarai, will direct at least one of the seven productions.
Calling on anyone with a story to tell to come forward, National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director Kully Thiarai said: “Almost certainly, you or someone you know are or have been an NHS patient at some point. What happened? Which services did you use? Who did you meet along the way? What did the NHS do for you? Or maybe you or someone you know work or used to work at the NHS. What are the stories that stick out from that experience?”
National Theatre Wales first announced NHS70 on 1 May 2017 – International Workers’ Day – alongside We’re Still Here, the company’s new production about the Port Talbot steelworks, co-produced with Common Wealth and written by Rachel Trezise. Both productions are in keeping with the company’s tradition of making work inspired by real stories told by the people most affected, and in linking the two projects, the company aims to celebrate these two totems of Wales’ long history of collectivism and industry. We’re Still Here will be performed in a warehouse in Port Talbot 15-30 September 2017.