Tuesday, 21 July 2009

....time passes, listen, time passes.

While I have been out and about this week I have been playing Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas - a perfect antidote to motorway driving.
An all-seeing narrator invites the audience to listen to the dreams and innermost thoughts of the inhabitants of an imaginary small Welsh village, Llareggub ("bugger all" spelt backwards – though re-spelt in early editions as Llaregyb so as not to offend).

Dylan Thomas was staying in New Quay, Wales one winter, he went out early one morning into the still sleeping town and verses came to his mind about the inhabitants. It truly became what he called 'a play for voices' and a landmark in radio drama and theatre - it was eventually turned into a stage play.
The play was first broadcast (two months after his death) on 25 January 1954, and featured Richard Burton as 'First Voice'.
There is a rich cast of characters that include Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard, relentlessly bossing her two dead husbands; Captain Cat, reliving his seafaring times; the two Mrs Dai Breads; Organ Morgan, obsessed with his music; and Polly Garter, pining for her dead lover.
Later, the town wakes and, aware now of how their feelings affect whatever they do, we watch them go about their daily business.
If you get the opportunity, enjoy this wonderful 'play for voices'. Have a grand midweek nice people, I'm about to grab some clean shirts and set off on my travels again.


  1. Oh, Burton's dreamy voice is just perfect for this piece. Brilliant. ((sigh))

    Thanks, Michael, I'm going to see if my library has this.

    Happy travels, dear friend.

  2. One of my favouritepieces, Under Milk Wood - and especially with that rich Welsh voice of Burton. Enjoy your travels.

  3. Hello Michael,

    Burton was a fine actor but for many people I'm sure it was only his voice that mattered: that could ring from the rooftops or whisper from the tomb. Nothing quite like it! Safe journey.

  4. Ah, Dylan Thomas. Died too young. Where are the likes of him today?

    I agree with the comment re Burton that you left on my blog Michael. I preferred (past tense seeing he's dead!)Burton's voice to his acting. I also think he was a better stage actor and had trouble adapting to the screen. Did nobody ever tell him that not everything is Shakespeare!!?? Although I liked it at the time, I cringe now when I see him in "Cleopatra".

  5. i love this play but i was unaware that you could get a recording of burton reading it in his marvellous voice. just the thing for a long car trip