Clement Attlee

Author(s): Francis Beckett
Running time: 1h 50min approx

Roger Rose and Lynne O'Sullivan as Clement and Violet Attlee

Attlee’s 1945–51 government founded the National Health Service, created the welfare state, brought in free compulsory education for all and nationalised key industries like railways. Attlee is considered by some historians to be the greatest twentieth century Prime Minister.

Clement Attlee (under its original title, A Modest Little Man) sold out in its first three runs, at Bread and Roses in South London and then at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in North London.

It begins in May 1945, when Britain celebrated victory and cheered Winston Churchill. But revolution was in the air. And the Labour leader was the man who had to deliver it.

But how could he? Clement Attlee sounded like a provincial bank manager. He was “a modest little man with plenty to be modest about.” He sat in his grey suit and puffed his pipe.

This wasn’t a man to deliver a revolution.

Except that he did.

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