After a day of rehearsals for The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, a day focussed on the details of props and costumes, ins and outs, we settled down around a laptop at 6pm this evening to hear the verdict being announced in Bradley's case. Ironically in a case about information freedom and state secrets, there are many restrictions on press access to the military courtroom, and in the end it's via the twitter feeds of the heroic journalists who have tracked and championed this case from day one - Alexa O'Brien, Nathan Fuller, Ed Pilkington, Kevin Goszotola - that the news emerges from the court room: not guilty of aiding the enemy (the charge that theoretically carries the death penalty) but guilty of pretty much else including five charges of espionage.  Somehow revealing information for reasons of conscience has become spying.  Now, several hours later, I'm listening to the extraordinary Dan Ellsberg take apart this charge of espionage in an interview on the BBC.  'We have put in place the infrastructure of a totalitarian state.'

In the face of such huge issues - and the desperate plight of one idealistic and vulnerable young man - what can our little production do?  Keep on I guess - keep talking - keep raising the issue - keep circulating the information.  If Bradley has shown anything it's what a huge effect one lone person can have.  If we are ever tempted to think that what we do has no impact, doesn't matter, can't achieve much against global forces, Bradley Manning has shown us the opposite.  In our inter-connected world, we can all, sometimes, make a very big difference indeed.

Back to rehearsals then!

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Comment by National Theatre Wales on July 31, 2013 at 11:28

Thanks Gareth.  Will you be up there this year?  

Comment by Gareth Clark on July 31, 2013 at 0:08

It's an important story and one I hope gets the right amount of attention in Edinburgh. Wishing you and the cast well for the adventure ahead. x

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