Under Milk Wood: Rhys Ifans calls film a 'joyous tirade'

Promotional image for Under Milk Wood showing Rhys Ifans in the role of Captain Cat Image copyright Richard Brewis

The long-awaited adaptation of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood - starring Rhys Ifans and singer Charlotte Church - hits the cinemas on Friday.

The film, directed by Kevin Allen, has already won plaudits from critics after screenings at summer film festivals.

A Welsh language version of the film, shot at the same time, is the UK's nomination to go forward to the Oscars' foreign language category.

Ifans described the film as a "joyous alliterative tirade of erotica".

The "Play for Voices" as it was described, had its first reading in New York in 1953 and was first broadcast on the BBC in January 1954 - two months after Thomas died.

Shot in and around Solva in Pembrokeshire, it portrays the dreams and lives of those living in the fictional town of Llareggub.

Image copyright PA

Ifans takes the role of both narrator and the blind sea captain, Captain Cat.

He said the combination of roles created a sense of a character narrating their own demise, like "the life of a drowning man passing before him".

Singer Church said acting in the role as young mother Polly Garter was "a totally new experience" and she "loved the challenge" of filming the Welsh language version - Dan y Wenallt - as a non-Welsh speaker.

The film had its official premiere on Sunday in London before Friday's general release.

It also marks the end of the Dylan Thomas 100 Festival, which has celebrated the century since the Swansea poet was born.

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