Theatr Soffa presents Under Milk Wood in Lock down!
This May, to coincide with International Dylan Thomas Day, Span Arts Pembrokeshire’s much loved community arts organisation is embarking on an exciting new digital venture. Calling on the many talents of their volunteers and the wider community we are working towards an online performance of Under Milk Wood through online video conferencing with the ambition to live stream to YouTube for digital theatre-goers to enjoy.
The venture has come about through Span’s Digidol project which has been piloting ways in which digital technology can be used creatively to help with issues such as social well being and rural isolation. The project could not be more timely given the continuing restrictions on our daily lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic as we continue to be advised to #StayAtHome.
Whilst we may not be able to visit our favourite seaside places or go about our normal daily business we can still dream. The play idea was born when the span team held their first video conference team meeting having closed their offices at in Narberth to continue working from home. How would it be to perform a play in these conditions? Under Milk Wood seemed the ideal choice to try it out. A classic piece which has a kind of hysterical claustrophobia to it in it’s depiction of the joys and woes of a small community.
Under Milk Wood is set in the fictionalised seaside town of Llareggub – which spells buggerall backwards! – there characters such as blind Captain Cat, Polly Garter and the Rev Eli Jenkins reflect on their lives and worldly affairs. It is an impressionistic drama recounting a day in the life of the town from the wee small hours of dreamtime to sunrise and sundown.
Richard Burton looking out over Lower Town Fishguard which stood in for the fictional Llareggub in the 1972 film version of the play.
Conceived as a play for voices the drama lends itself to the more intimate medium that a digital space can create whilst its cast of many characters means that no voice that wants to join in will go unheard. Indeed, we can’t think of a better play to produce under lock down conditions – as its author Dylan Thomas was locked into a room to ensure that he finished the first draft of his play only hours before its first staged reading!
Span Arts are also working collaboratively with Menter Iaith Sir Benfro and Cered to present a digital version of T James Jones’ Welsh translation of the play reconceived as Dan y Wenallt Dan Glo.
If you would like to take part on this online performance please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org More details of both productions to follow on the Span Arts website: http://www.span-arts.org.uk/whats-on/
This project is supported by the Enhancing Pembrokeshire second home owners tax fund facilitated by Pembrokeshire County Council, the Arts Council of Wales and the Leader fund Arwain Sir Benfro administered through Planed.