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Arts and Drama
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Friday, 24 December, 8.00-9.30pm
Dylan Thomas at the BBC
Another opportunity to listen to Richard Burton star in a new production of UNDER MILK WOOD by Dylan Thomas. The new production originally marked the 50th anniversary of the author's death.

The drama is no longer available online.

Possibly the most famous radio play ever written is given a fresh lease of life in a new production of the classic drama originally broadcast in 1954.

The inimitable performance of Richard Burton as First Voice has been digitally remastered and mixed with new performances of all the other parts to create a magical, fresh visit to the unique but universal world of Llareggub.

Touching, eerie and very funny, the play tells the story of a day in the life of the inhabitants of a small Welsh seaside town, their dreams and routines, their loves and regrets. With characters and phrases that have entered daily parlance, the play opens with, 'To begin at the beginning', and features No Good Boyo, Lily Smalls, Polly Garter, Organ Morgan and Captain Cat in its castlist of more than 50.

Sian Phillips joins Richard Burton to play Second Voice. Also featured in the all-Welsh cast are Matthew Rhys, Glyn Houston, Lisa Palfrey, Catrin Rhys and Steven Meo, among others. And there's a special guest appearance by John Humphrys. A new musical score has been composed by John Hardy. Meet the cast.

The play stems from a talk given by Thomas on the Welsh Home Service in 1945 called Quite Early One Morning. BBC producer Douglas Cleverdon spent seven years persuading Thomas to write the play and Under Milk Wood was eventually broadcast on the Third Programme in January 1954 just two months after the author's death.

Thomas himself was originally going to play First Voice but Burton's voice truly brings the poetry to life. Cleverdon produced a new version of the play in 1963, again featuring Richard Burton as the narrator and now in 2003 Burton's voice is used to play the same role on this latest production by Alison Hindell.

Dylan Thomas described Under Milk Wood as 'a play for voices' and its heightened style makes it the ideal vehicle for an alternative mix in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. In addition to the standard Radio 4 broadcast, this surround sound version will be streamed for listeners with surround sound facilities. This is the first BBC radio drama to be broadcast using this technology.
Find out about the 5.1 Surround Sound version.

Audio Book
Under Milk Wood is available from BBC Audiobooks in the CD collection A Season of Dylan Thomas.
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5.1 Surround Sound
Dylan Thomas

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