Noted for giving local audiences unusual entertainment, Shute Theatre and Arts Guild will present Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas at St Michael’s Church, Shute in Easter week, playing from 11th to 14th April.
Described as ‘a play for voices’, Under Milk Wood was conceived as a play for radio and was broadcast by the BBC, three months after Thomas’s death, in January 1954. Director Elisabeth Miller describes it as a delightful picture of twenty-four hours in the life of a small seaside town in South Wales, encompassing the memories and hopes and dreams of the town’s residents. It transfers easily to the stage, especially to an intimate space such as Shute Church.
Do not expect heavy Welsh accents! Those who lived in the small town on which Thomas based his play spoke – in his words – “with a broad English accent although on all sides they are surrounded by hundreds of miles of Welsh county.” Such is “the little England beyond Wales” which comprises Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.
The lynchpins of the production will be those amateur giants Ernest Fox and David Clarke who play the Narrators. Other parts – these are 77 individual speakers – will be played by a small committed group who will assume numerous personas to make Under Milk Wood a truly remarkable experience.
Elisabeth Miller ~ March 2012