Laugharne Live

A free radio festival took place within the grounds of Laugharne Castle in Carmarthenshire from Friday 2 May - Monday 5 May 2014.

The castle played host to a series of live and pre-recorded radio broadcasts, shows and performances from BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and BBC 6 Music and offered an exciting mix of music and poetry from the main marquee and the BBC Radio Wales outdoor performance stage.

During the weekend Laugharne hosted National Theatre Wales’ Raw Material: Llareggub Revisited, a live theatre experience in collaboration with BBC Cymru Wales.

The town also became home to non-BBC events including The Dylan Weekends.

Dylan Thomas lived at the Boathouse in Laugharne for the last four years of his life with his wife Caitlin and their young family. Many of his works were written in the writing shed on the cliff top above the Boathouse. After his death in New York in 1953, Dylan’s body was returned to Laugharne and buried in the grounds of St Martin's Church.

View images of the weekend.

Watch Laugharne Live highlights.

Friday 2 May

Laugharne Live with Nicola Heywood Thomas, BBC Radio Wales, 18:00

In a special edition of the Radio Wales Arts Show, Nicola Heywood Thomas and New York radio station WNYC with presenter Leonard Lopate join forces to explore the work of Dylan Thomas and his relevance to both Wales and the USA. Lifelong Dylan Thomas fan, President Carter, speaking from Georgia, will be the special guest on this simulcast.

The Dylan Thomas Pub Quiz, BBC Radio Wales, 19:30

What do you really know about Dylan Thomas? What bits of the Dylan story are true and which bits are part of the mythology that's grown up around him? Join chairman Chris Corcoran, Dylan Thomas expert Jeff Towns and panellists Mab Jones, Nadia Kamil and Steffan Rhodri for a light-hearted quiz looking into Thomas the man and Thomas the legend. This could get ugly. Or lovely.

The Essay, BBC Radio 3, 21:30

Linking up from New York, writer, poet and activist Kevin Powell looks at Dylan Thomas’s far-reaching influence on Black American writers, from his own introduction to Thomas’s words in the new poetry and spoken-word scene happening in New York in the early 90s, to the new wave of Black American artists inspired through hip-hop, spoken word and America’s oral tradition.

Saturday 3 May

Bethan Elfyn, BBC Radio Wales, 10:00

Bethan Elfyn presents the best new Welsh contemporary music acts with highlights from Laugharne Live, including sessions from Horizons 2014 artists.

The Echo Chamber, BBC Radio 4, 12:00

Paul Farley presents an on-stage edition of Radio 4’s The Echo Chamber with new poetry from new poets and old poetry brought back to life. Poetry is news that stays news and Dylan Thomas may yet be found in the least expected places. With Simon Armitage, Owen Sheers, Robin Robertson, Jo Shapcott, Glyn Maxwell and Gwyneth Lewis, and music from Alasdair Roberts.

Laugharne Live with Nicola Heywood Thomas, BBC Radio Wales, 13:00

Nicola Heywood Thomas and her guests reflect on Dylan Thomas’ contribution to world literature.

The Dylan Thomas Pub Quiz, BBC Radio Wales, 13:45

The second of two programmes promising to not go gentle into the life and work of the Swansea poet. Chris Corcoran asks the questions in this light-hearted quiz, with panellists Helen Griffin, Mab Jones and Sian Phillips plus Dylan Thomas expert Jeff Towns.

After Milk Wood, BBC Radio 4, 15:15

In celebration of the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas, Radio 4 has commissioned three acclaimed writers to write short stories taking their inspiration from Thomas’s greatest work Under Milk Wood. All set in contemporary Britain, from rural Ireland to inner-city London and small-town Wales, the pieces will be performed before a live audience at the Laugharne Live Festival.

The Essay, BBC Radio 3, 16:30

Andrew Davies reflects on the influence of Dylan Thomas on a child growing up in Wales in the 1950s, with aspirations to be a writer. A day trip to Rhossili beach and a Cornish pasty chimed with Davies’ role model’s account in “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog”, but was this the gateway to a future as a poet?

Screening: A Poet in New York, 18:00

Through the story of Dylan’s final eventful days before his death in 1953 in New York, this single drama explores the life of the world famous poet and creator of some of the most memorable lines in the English language. Starring Tom Hollander in the title role

The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with writer Andrew Davies and composer Debbie Wiseman.

Sunday 4 May

Stiwdio gyda Nia Roberts, BBC Radio Cymru, 09:30

A special edition of Stiwdio discussing the festival.

Coffee with the Kardomah Boys, BBC Radio 3, 10:15

Ian McMillan delves into the artistic world of the Kardomah Boys, Dylan Thomas’ bohemian circle of friends that met in Swansea in the 1930s. He's joined by cultural historian Peter Stead, writer Hilly Janes (daughter of the artist Alfred Janes), and Vernon Watkins' biographer Richard Ramsbotham to discuss the gang and discover how the artists, poets and composers influenced - and were influenced by - Dylan. Recorded for broadcast during Radio 3 Live in Concert on Monday 5 May.

Laugharne Live with Roy Noble, BBC Radio Wales, 10:30

Roy is live from the grounds of Laugharne Castle, celebrating the life, work and legacy of Dylan Thomas in his centenary year. He’ll be exploring how Dylan’s language is inspiring a whole new generation of young people in Wales, and exploring the impact of his work on Laugharne and the wider world.

The Verb, BBC Radio 3, 12:00

Ian McMillan’s guests on The Verb include the writer Glyn Maxwell on updating and relocating Under Milk Wood, the poet Gwyneth Lewis on writing a novella which explores Dylan’s influence, and the musician Gruff Rhys. The one-time frontman for the Super Furry Animals will be talking about his project American Interior and the experience of composing the soundtrack for a new film about Dylan Thomas.

Laugharne Live with Jamie Owen, BBC Radio Wales, 12:00

Jamie Owen and his guests reflect on the week’s news events.

The Essay, BBC Radio 3, 13:45

The poet and writer Gwyneth Lewis, whose words are emblazoned over the Wales’ Millennium Centre, takes a personal journey through language of Dylan Thomas. She argues that to appreciate the work fully we must understand the poet’s rigorous practice and detailed knowledge of poetic history and tradition.

Laugharne Live with Best of Radio Wales, BBC Radio Wales, 15:00

Mal Pope presents a special programme showcasing the highlights of Laugharne Live, a celebration of the legacy and impact of the work of Dylan Thomas. He’ll be soaking up the atmosphere in the town, and meeting the residents of Laugharne celebrating the man affectionately known as “the radio poet.”

The Choir, BBC Radio 3, 15:30

Sara Mohr-Pietsch brings her BBC Radio 3 show, The Choir, to Laugharne for a special live broadcast. Guest performers, WNO Youth Opera, present a new choral setting of Dylan Thomas’ Fern Hill, composed by Julian Phillips. Sara also hears from local ensemble, The Corran Singers, for a unique live edition of her regular feature, Meet my Choir.

Talwrn Talacharn, BBC Radio Cymru, 16:00

A special edition of the Talwrn between a team of Dylans and last year’s winners.

The Essay, BBC Radio 3, 17:45

Professor John Goodby is one of the world’s most respected academic authorities on the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Using poems such as the radiant “In the White Giant’s Thigh”, “And Death Shall Have no Domininion” and “A Refusal to Mourn” he explores how the boundaries which Dylan Thomas crossed in both life and art have made it difficult for critics to pigeon-hole his legacy.

Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone, BBC 6 Music, 19:30

Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone comes to the Laugharne Live Festival celebrating the stranger, more unusual and avant-garde side of Welsh music and spoken word, featuring live performances and special guests from the Freak Zone family.

Monday 5 May

Laugharne Live with Jamie Owen, BBC Radio Wales, 10:00 

Bringing you the day’s latest breaking news, views and music, keeping you informed and entertained.

Dan yr Wyneb, BBC Radio Cymru, 10:30

A special edition of Dan yr Wyneb discussing the effect of the Welsh language on Dylan’s work.

The Essay, BBC Radio 3, 18:30

Poet and musician Twm Morys explores the links between Wales’ poetic heritage and Dylan Thomas’s writing, along with his own encounters with Thomas, when he was living in Swansea.

Laugharne Live with Mal Pope, BBC Radio Wales, 13:00

Mal Pope looks at some of the quirky stories of the day, critic Kathy Griffiths has her weekly TV review – and we take a trip on Dylan Thomas’ birthday walk.

In Tune, BBC Radio 3, 16:00

In this special edition of In Tune, BBC Radio 3’s well-loved daily drive-time show, presenter Suzy Klein will be interviewing Dylan Thomas’ granddaughter, Hannah Ellis, enthusiast Jeff Towns and the authors of a re-imagining of Under Milk Wood, Marc Rees and Jon Tregenna. There will also be live music from Welsh harpist and singer Sian James and the Penarth Festival Strings.

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