A DRAMATISED reading of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas will be presented shortly at the new Town Hall Theatre in Dungarvan.
The production will be staged by the Phoenix Players from West Mersea in England and is being put on in association with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
Featuring colourful characters from ‘Llareggub’ (read it backwards) and regarded as one of the finest pieces written in English during the 20th Century, Under Milk Wood is a play for voices that was first broadcast by the BBC in 1954.
Published in book form after the Welsh writer’s death over 50 years ago, the story still resonates with audiences today and has never been out of print.
Dylan Thomas introduces the townspeople of Llareggub through their dreams to give the audience a sense of what is important to them and to reveal some of what bubbles below the apparently calm surface. The audience learns that Dai Bread’s thoughts are of harems; Polly Garter loves babies and Nogood Boyo dreams of ‘Nothing’.
The shadow of death also runs through the narrative. Promiscuous Polly Garter sings all day of her lost love Little Willy Wee, the only husband Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard is interested in is a dead one and Captain Cat is haunted by the memory of Rosie Probert, ‘the one love of his sea-life’. Indeed, several of the characters are troubled throughout by their frustrated and sometimes explicit desires.
Speaking ahead of the Dungarvan performance on Saturday week, May 24, WIT director Professor Kieran Byrne said: “We are particularly pleased to welcome the Phoenix Players back to the southeast where they produced Under Milk Wood at Waterford, Kilkenny and Lismore in 2005, 2006 and 2007.”
Professor Byrne said that productions of Dylan Thomas’s classic works on the Irish stage are rare, “and it is likely that the dramatised reading in Dungarvan will prove popular with theatre-goers.
“The institute’s support of this production affords us an opportunity to broaden our arts and culture outreach and join with our colleagues and friends from Dungarvan who provide tremendous support for our efforts during the year,” he said.
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