Chichester Festival Theatre
Fri 9 Aug 2024
7:15 pm
Captioned by Stagetext
The Promise image

To promise nearly fifty million people truly universal health care – ‘cradle to the grave’ – is crackers.
1945. In a country exhausted and crippled by debt after six years of war, time is up for Winston Churchill’s Tories. With a rallying cry for change, Labour wins an astonishing, landslide election victory.
Clement Attlee may be an unlikely prime minister and his cabinet of competing heavyweights – from the loyal Ernest Bevin to scheming Herbert Morrison – argue furiously about how to realise their manifesto: to make a welfare state, build millions of homes, reorganise dilapidated schools, and most dramatically, create a National Health Service that is free at the point of need.
Driven by the passionate and courageous radical Ellen Wilkinson, and the visionary firebrand Nye Bevan, a very British revolution is in the air. But in the face of bitter opposition, is this an audacious pledge of hope or a promise too far?
Paul Unwin’s new drama is a fascinating, deeply pertinent portrayal of the people who moulded modern Britain and what it cost them.
Paul Unwin is co-creator of TV’s longest-running medical drama Casualty.
Jonathan Kent, whose previous Chichester productions include Gypsy, Young Chekhov Trilogy and Sweeney Todd, directs.