Hundreds of cupcakes bearing the likeness of Tredegar-born hero Aneurin Bevan and Jennie Lee were gifted to the public last week to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS on Thursday 5th of July.
The cakes were organised by award-winning Neath based theatre company Theatr na nÓg, and aimed to help promote their autumn tour of Nye & Jennie, a co-production with Aneurin Leisure which visits 17 theatres across Wales and Scotland this October and November.
Exactly 70 years after the NHS was founded on 5th July 1948, cupcakes were handed out to local shoppers and townspeople in Abertillery, Aberystwyth, Edinburgh, Maesteg, Pontardawe, Ystradgynlais, Brecon and Newport.
Nye & Jennie is an intimate and poetic play offering a fascinating insight on the marriage of one of the most outstanding political partnerships of the 20th Century – NHS founder Nye Bevan and the first ever arts minister, Jennie Lee. The play saw writer Meredydd Barker nominated for Best Playwright at the Welsh Theatre Awards 2017. A notable cast features Gareth John Bale as Aneurin Bevan, who has recently returned from New York performing his celebrated role in Torch Theatre’s one-man show Grav, and fresh from touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Louise Collins as Jennie Lee. This is Theatr na nÓg’s first co-production with Aneurin Leisure Trust, a natural partner for a play about their local hero.
Aneurin Bevan, better known as ‘Nye’, and his wife Jennie Lee fought together for a new way of life for the people of Britain; he the Welsh Valleys’ firebrand on the Labour backbenches, who rose to become one of the greatest politicians this country has ever seen, and she the miner’s daughter from Fife who became a Socialist MP before she was old enough to vote. Together they navigated the turbulent world of politics to set up great British Institutions for the benefit of all - the National Health Service and the Open University.
Director of Nye & Jennie, and Theatr na nÓg Artistic Director Geinor Styles said;
"The running theme through all of our work as a company is to tell stories of inspirational characters, whether it be a large scale musical, show for schools or main stage drama. We wanted to tell the story of two extraordinary individuals, who both from humble origins succeeded in changing the lives of generations of ordinary people.”
2018 Tour Dates & Venues:
17 Oct – The Metropole, Abertillery
18 Oct – Blackwood Miners’ Institute, Caerphilly
19 Oct – The Welfare, Ystradgynlais
20 Oct – Aberystwyth Arts Centre
23 Oct – Maesteg Town Hall
24 Oct – The Riverfront, Newport
25 Oct – Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon
26 Oct – Galeri, Caernarfon
2 & 3 Nov – Edinburgh Festival Theatre
7 Nov – Garth Olwg, Pontypridd
9 Nov – Theatr Stiwt, Rhosllanchrugog
10 Nov – The Hafren, Newtown
13 Nov – Neuadd Dwyfor – Pwllheli
14 Nov – Pontardawe Arts Centre
15 Nov – The Ffwrnes, Llanelli
16 Nov – The Borough Theatre, Abergavenny
17 Nov – The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven