Inis Nua Theatre to Stage American Premiere of THE RADICALISATION OF BRADLEY MANNING
Inis Nua Theatre Company moves to The Proscenium Theatre at its new home The Drake (at 203 South Hicks Street) to present The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning by Tim Price. The American premiere of this Welsh play revives some not-so-long-ago American history to tell the story of the young Army intelligence analyst who leaked the largest amount of classified documents in U.S. history.
"Do you have an attitude problem?" "Do you have a problem following orders?" Questions like these set the scene for this wholly imagined version of the mind and life of Chelsea Manning. Known to the world in 2010 as Pfc. Bradley Manning, Manning downloaded and shared with WikiLeaks more than 700,000 government files on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the videos showed airstrikes, including one that showed a U.S. Apache helicopter in Baghdad opening fire on a group of individuals believed to be insurgents. Ultimately, the dead were found to have included children and journalists. After arrest, Manning was held in solitary confinement and extreme conditions for three years before being sentenced in 2013 to 35 years in military prison. She is eligible for parole in 2020.
Although thoroughly researched, The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning is a fictionalized biography written while Manning was awaiting trial. Non-linear sliding between active service and incarceration, the play also explores Manning's teenage years as his parents' marriage crumbled through Manning's isolation and struggles with being gay in the military. Taken to the town of Haverfordwest, Wales, by his mother after the divorce, the play explores the influences and attitudes that helped to shape Chelsea, as well as Manning's growing sense of destiny. One thing is for sure, Manning may have had an attitude problem and may have had a problem following orders, but Manning's actions forced us to confront what was done in our country's name. They also ignited a firestorm of many more crucial and challenging questions.
The American premiere of The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning is directed by Tom Reing and stars Trevor Fayle, David Glover, Campbell O'Hare, David Pica, Johnny Smith and Isa St. Clair. The show's honorary producer is Anne Vogelmann.
Artistic Director Tom Reing remarked, "I loved the power, insight and compassion of this play, especially the relevance of Manning's time in Wales. It fascinated me that this all-American story had a facet that was totally unknown to me-a facet that this Welsh playwright explored so beautifully. I saw this play two days before Pfc. Manning was sentenced. The day after that she announced that she was transitioning and took the name Chelsea."
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning opens on Friday, April 29 at 8:00 pm, with previews on Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28 at 7:00 pm. The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning runs for a total of 16 performances, through May 15, 2016. All shows are at the Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, 203 South Hicks Street. South Hicks Street is right next to The Drake apartment building at 1512 Spruce Street.
Tickets are on sale for $25 and $30 by calling (215) 454-9776 or visiting inisnuatheatre.org. To join the conversation, please like Inis Nua Theatre Company on Facebook and follow @InisNua Theatre on Twitter.
In April 2012, National Theatre Wales debuted the award-winning The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, a new play they commissioned 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 Radicalisation of Bradley Manning won the James Tait Black Prize for Drama 2013, the UK's oldest literary award, in a new category for Drama.