South West Wales

Tom Jones, Michael Sheen in Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood

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Media captionDylan Thomas wrote Under Milk Wood over a 10-year period

Sir Tom Jones, Sian Phillips and Michael Sheen are named in an all-star cast for a new BBC Wales TV adaptation of Dylan Thomas's play Under Milk Wood.

Featured locations include the poet's favourite pubs in New York and west Wales where he wrote his "play for voices" over a 10 year period.

Next month's show marks the centenary of Swansea-born Thomas's birth and 60 years since the play's BBC radio debut.

National Theatre Wales will also stage a related live event at Laugharne.

Since its first broadcast on radio, Under Milk Wood's tale of the residents of the fictional Welsh village of Llareggub has been adapted as a popular stage play, an opera, and a film version in 1972 starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

Sir Tom Jones will play the role of Captain Cat with Sheen among several famous names playing First and Second Voice, including Matthew Rhys, Griff Rhys Jones and John Rhys Davies.

Jonathan Pryce will appear alongside Sian Phillips as Mr and Mrs Pugh, with singers Katherine Jenkins and Charlotte Church in the cast as Polly Garter and Mrs Ogmore Pritchard respectively.

Ioan Gruffudd will play Mog Edwards while the Rev Eli Jenkins will be portrayed by opera star Bryn Terfel.

Katherine Jenkins said: "It was wonderful to be involved in a project celebrating such a great Welshman.

"It's also been such a joy to collaborate with so many other Welsh artists whom I respect and admire. I hope the results are a fitting tribute."

Image caption Reflections on Dylan Thomas: Sir Tom Jones heads an all-star cast for a TV version of Under Milk Wood
Image caption Dylan Thomas wrote Under Milk Wood as a 'play for voices'
Image copyright Carmarthenshire council
Image caption Thomas spent the last four years of his life in the coastal Welsh village of Laugharne

The 60-minute TV drama will open with actors Aimee-Ffion Edwards and Matthew Rhys connecting via their laptops in Brown's Hotel, Laugharne, and the White Horse Tavern in New York before Michael Sheen enters as First Voice.

Executive producer Bethan Jones said: "It's been an enormous privilege to work with such an extraordinary ensemble of Welsh talent for this unique presentation of Dylan Thomas' play, and an amazing experience to witness how this familiar text feels fresh and alive when read with truth and simplicity by this wonderful cast."

National Theatre Wales will also present a live theatre experience in Laugharne from 3-5 May called Raw Material: Llareggub Revisited, created by Marc Rees and writer Jon Tregenna.

The company previously staged an outdoor production of The Passion in Port Talbot over Easter 2011, starring Sheen as Jesus Christ.

Under Milk Wood will be shown on BBC One Wales and the BBCiPlayer in early May as the culmination of a season of programmes celebrating Dylan Thomas's centenary.

Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption The poet's old drinking haunt in the Carmarthenshire village will feature in the TV production

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