DYLAN Thomas’ classic radio play Under Milk Wood is brought to life on the stage of Leamington’s Loft Theatre until May 17.
This year marks the centenary of the birth of the hard-living Welsh poet, an event not only being celebrated in his homeland but across the world.
Thomas worked on his play for voices for eight years before finally delivering the draft to the BBC in September 1953. Sadly, he died two months late, aged just 39, and so never heard the first adaptation of his work which was broadcast in January 1954.
It is this recording, with Richard Burton famously declaiming the opening line ‘… To begin at the beginning …’, which has become the benchmark against which all other versions of the play are considered.
Although originally written for radio, over the years Dylan’s masterpiece has also successfully transferred to the stage and onto our television screens.
Under Milk Wood is the story of a day in the life of the inhabitants of a small Welsh fishing town – Llareggub – as told by the inhabitants themselves.
Through the medium of prose-poetry and song, the villagers and a number of ghosts tell about themselves and each other. They include the blind seafarer and narrator Captain Cat and his ghostly girlfriend Rosie Probert; house proud Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard and her two dead husbands; local bard Reverend Eli Jenkins; Dai Bread and his two wives; and local bawd Polly Garter.
Director Tim Willis said: “I had long promised myself to direct this sensitive, often comic, celebration of Welsh life, and what better time to fulfil that promise than in celebration of the centenary of Dylan’s birth.”
Visit www.loft-theatre.co.uk for tickets and further details.