The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning

  • Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh, 2013

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?

National Theatre Wales 2012 production, for which Tim Price won the inaugural James Tait Black prize for Drama, was sent to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013 with a new video design by Ian William Galloway.

While the show previously featured scene locations shown on a bank of monitors, this was expanded greatly in the 2013 design. Text was avoided if at all possible, allowing the audience to recognise the locations though simple images, views from windows and, most strikingly, 30 fluttering US flags through all the brutal boot camp scenes.

In addition, the show was netcast and live mixed every night through a four camera rig, available to watch for free on the NTW site. The opening performance was hosted by the Huffington Post.

The special-effects are stunningly conceived and realised -complementing the narrative but never intrusive except when they need to be. War is Hell, after all.
The Edinburgh Reporter
John E McGrath’s dizzying National Theatre of Wales production comes across like ‘Black Watch’ jacked up on acid and technology.
Time Out