South West Wales

Dylan Thomas celebrated in Laugharne street theatre event

Russell Gomer with a bust of Dylan Thomas Image copyright Warren Orchard
Image caption Actor Russell Gomer helps re-imagine the Dylan Thomas play Under Milk Wood

Characters from Dylan Thomas' famous play for voices Under Milk Wood are taking to the streets of the town which inspired the work as part of centenary celebrations for the poet.

The event at Laugharne in Carmarthenshire is being staged over the weekend by National Theatre Wales.

Raw Material: Llareggub Revisited is said to be a re-imagining of the play.

The action will be filmed for inclusion in a new BBC Wales TV version of Under Milk Wood to be broadcast on Monday.

It is the latest in a series of innovative productions by National Theatre Wales, which previously staged a passion play on the streets of Port Talbot starring Michael Sheen.

Guided tour

The show inspired by Under Milk Wood will be performed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at a range of indoor and outdoor locations in Laugharne, where Swansea-born Thomas spent the last years of his life and wrote much of the play.

Created by artist Marc Rees and writer Jon Tregenna - who lives in Laugharne - it will feature live actors and pre-recorded performances from some of Wales' best-known actors and singers.

Image caption Dylan Thomas wrote Under Milk Wood as a 'play for voices'
Image copyright Warren Orchard
Image caption It was inspired by and partly written in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire
Image copyright Warren Orchard
Image caption Creators Marc Rees and Jon Tregenna at the boathouse in Laugharne where Thomas spent his final years

The show takes the form of a tour of Laugharne for a 200-strong audience led by Charles Dale, best known as hospital porter Mac in the BBC TV drama series Casualty.

But the party is hijacked by actor Russell Gomer, who plays an eccentric character who claims to know the real story behind Under Milk Wood and diverts the tour to the town's dark underbelly.

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Media captionJohn McGrath, of the National Theatre of Wales, said the work was an investigation into the stories, people and places that inspired Under Milk Wood

Members of the local Laugharne Players drama group also appear throughout the town as characters from its past and present.

John McGrath, artistic director of National Theatre Wales, said: "It's been pretty moving to work on this production because of the close relationship between Dylan Thomas and the town.

"For local people to get involved in this re-imagining of Under Milk Wood has been really touching."

Tickets for all three performances have sold out but visitors to Laugharne will be able to see much of the action as it unfolds around the town between 11:00 and 13:45 BST on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Scenes from the weekend's performances will be included in a new TV adaptation of Under Milk Wood to be shown on BBC One Wales on Monday at 19:00 BST, featuring stars such as Sir Tom Jones, Sian Phillips and Michael Sheen.

Image caption Reflections on Dylan Thomas: Sir Tom Jones heads an all-star cast for a TV version of Under Milk Wood
Image caption Di Botcher and Sian Thomas are familiar Welsh faces playing Mrs Dai Bread One and Two in the TV version
Image caption Gavin and Stacey star Steffan Rhodri (centre) takes a break during filming at Brown's Hotel in Laugharne

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