In Harverfordwest, Cardiff and Flintshire
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning
JOHN E McGRATH
Bradley Manning is the 24-year old US soldier accused of releasing 250,000 secret embassy cables and military logs from the Iraq and Afghan wars. After nearly two years in prison without charge, Manning now faces a court martial, accused of crimes that could mean life in prison. But just a few years ago, he was a teenager in west Wales. How did this happen? And who is responsible for his radicalisation?
About the Production
In April 2012 National Theatre Wales presented The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, a new play by Tim Price, in three schools across Wales.
The show opened at Tasker Milward School, Haverfordwest, where Bradley Manning completed his secondary education, and then toured to Cardiff High School and Connah’s Quay High School in Flintshire.
The six performers, all around Bradley’s age, played a number of characters each, including all playing the part of Bradley Manning himself at different points in the piece.
The show was also streamed live online alongside a chat function and links to further information about the themes and events mentioned in the play.
The plays superbly mounts the forces that play on Manning, and that shape his networked life.
Price and NTW have not only placed themselves at the cutting-edge of theatre, but at the very coalface of ideas
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, whether viewed on stage or screen, leaves one hoping that somehow, for once, this time, justice can be done.
a viscerally exciting piece of theatre
Bold, brave, topical
theatre as it’s meant to be – thought-provoking and entertaining
a hugely enjoyable night of theatre
A masterful interpretation of a courageous man’s young life, The Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning is smart, pointed, revealing and thoroughly engaging.
a powerful... piece of theatre
snappy and tense, with a terrific young cast
compelling... [a] wired, youthful-feeling production
Cast and Creative Team
SION DANIEL YOUNG
JOHN E McGRATH
Lighting Design by
Sound Design by
Multi-Platform Design by
Tim Price: Why I'm writing a play about Bradley Manning
Today, one day before his 24th birthday, Bradley Manning will start the process that will determine whether he'll celebrate his next 30 birthdays behind bars. I will be watching every minute of this case, because for the past year I have been writing a play entitled The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning for National Theatre Wales.
I have been following Bradley's case since his arrest in May 2010. His story had a heady mix of espionage, geo-politics and cyber-frontierism, but it wasn't until I learned of Bradley's teenage years in Wales that my curiosity turned into obsession.
This young soldier – who has attempted to call the president of the US as a defence witness – knows bus timetables around Haverfordwest. He knows the trials of schoolboy rugby, and speaks rudimentary Welsh. Once I realised this, Bradley became more than a news story.
We had things in common. So reading accounts of his torture in the Quantico Brig haunted me.
While his treatment shocked me, his alleged actions thrilled me. If Bradley is guilty of uploading the information to WikiLeaks then he has courageously reminded us that not only is finance, religion, media, manufacturing and politics transnational, but so is our morality.
At a meeting with NTW to discuss the production of another of my plays, I could not get the young soldier out of my head, and confessed to the theatre that I believed we were doing the wrong play. I had to write about Manning, I told them, and they had to produce it. (It wasn't as finger-snappy as that, of course – I did shoe-gaze and apologise a lot.) NTW agreed, and to my eternal gratitude we switched plays.
Read the rest of Tim's Blog on the Guardian website.
NTW18 - Please Note
This play is a fictional account which has been inspired by a true story. The incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. In some cases, fictitious characters and incidents have been added to the plot, and the words are those imagined by the author. The play should not be understood as a biography or any other factual account.