To Provide All People The NHS, it’s there for when the pattern breaks, isn’t it? 
Photo of white wall with grafitti of a doctor wearing a mask and gloves making a heart shape with her hands

To Provide All People

Bristol Arts Channel

Key Information
  • Dates Thu 25 Jun 2020 - Thu 02 Jul 2020
  • Location Bristol Arts Channel
  • First broadcast

    7pm, 25th June

  • Available until

    2nd July

  • Running time

    1h 30

  • Please note

    Closed captions are available

The NHS, it’s there for when the pattern breaks, isn’t it? 

By Owen Sheers

Directed by George Mann

‘The NHS, it’s there for when the pattern breaks, isn’t it?
When the day we expect, the story we’re living
Whoever you are,
Takes a turn we didn’t see coming.’

Written in 2018 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the NHS, this stunning poetic play is a love letter to ‘that beautiful idea made manifest’. The play charts an emotional and philosophical map of the NHS today through the story of its founding and the personal experiences that lie at its heart; from patients to surgeons, porters to midwives. This is a world of transformative pains,triumphs, losses and celebrations and joins us all in our universal experiences of health and sickness, birth and death, regardless of race, gender or wealth. 

Originally produced as a film-poem for the BBC featuring a host of familiar faces, including Michael Sheen, Sian Phillips and Martin Freeman, the play holds even more relevance in these unprecedented times.

Sheers’ lyrical reportage is politically and emotionally charged, asking urgent questions about the future of the NHS. We’re excited to produce Sheers’ verse drama paying tribute to the ideas, ethos and people that come together everyday to make our NHS.

Age guidance 12+

See full list of trigger warnings below.


Image credit: Photo of The Rebel Bear’s artwork by Colin D on Unsplash

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Sayle Screen Ltd.

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Join the conversation about the season on social media using #ToProvide and tagging us!


If you enjoyed this piece and would like to support our work, please consider donating to the Peter O’Toole Prize. This is an annual award given to two graduating actors from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School which includes a professional contract at Bristol Old Vic Theatre where Peter O’Toole launched his career.


Donate to the Peter O’Toole Prize


Matthew/Andrew/Bevan James Burman

Yvonne/Karen/Sara/Anvi Tian Chaudhry

Eluned/Melissa/Rachel Esmée Cook

Eva/Aneira/Alison Olivia Edwards

Vijay Akshay Khanna

Kemi/Steve Nimshi Kongolo

Bethan/Kerry/Annie Kiera Lester

Gwyn/Bill Mark Milligan

Valeria/Wendy/Samantha Alice Moore

Ben Sebastian Orozco

Hywel Danial Radze

Giovanni/Prof. Al Juboori Tommy Sim’aan

Sian/Leanne/Alice Chanel Waddock

Creative Team

Director George Mann

Assistant Director Lucy Hayes

Production Designer Bea Wilson

Costume Designer Benjamin Thapa

Sound Designer Danny Davies

Music Andy Jenks

Filmed and edited by The Cast

Assemble Edit Andy Jenks

Digital Coordinator Dave Taylor

Director of Photography Maya Barker

Script Supervisor Sara Mikulla

Production Manager Jon Sherwood

Production Supervisor Ruth Sidery

Stage Manager Charlotte Woolley

Deputy Stage Manager Rosie Tredray

Assistant Stage Managers Eliza Podesta, Cat Simpson and Kirk Bishop

Production Assistant Frederick MacLeod

Costume Supervisor Becky Davies

Head of Costume Jill Blundell

Animators Ella Lovelady, Elkie McCrimmon and Emily Poole

Animation Sound Designer Emily Poole

As a student, the most important aspect of a course is putting into practice what you've been learning, and we do that constantly. I cannot recommend BOVTS enough - my showreel has never looked better! April Storm Perry, MA Screen Acting Student