Preview - Under Milk Wood in NorthamptonDate: 21 April 2009
Welsh masterpiece reinvented in Northampton
Dylan Thomas’ rich and poetic masterpiece, Under Milk Wood, takes to the stage from Friday 1 to Saturday 16 May at Royal & Derngate, Northampton, in a striking new production. Young Welsh director Adele Thomas brings together a cast of Welsh actors to reinvent this touchingly comic riot of a play, presenting humanity in all its mad glory.
The five strong ensemble brings to life over 60 characters from the eccentric community of Llaregubb, whose sleeping and waking desires are explored in Under Milk Wood. Moving from the wonderfully vivid dream world of the sleepers’ minds, through to the cacophony of waking life in the village, the mysterious narrator leads the audience through the darker desires of the town’s inhabitants. He unearths the terrifying nightmares and private tragedy behind the town’s respectable veneer, but the inhabitants of Llareggub have a lust for life that fills their world with humour and hope.
As part of the prestigious ITV Theatre Director Scheme, Adele Thomas has spent the last year at Royal & Derngate as a resident trainee director, working alongside Artistic Director Laurie Sansom on productions of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Wizard of Oz. Previous participants in the scheme have included Rupert Goold, former Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate. Adele has previously worked at the Young Vic and Welsh National Opera as a director.
Under Milk Wood continues Royal & Derngate’s commitment to its productions being truly ‘Made in Northampton’ with sets, props and costumes crafted by their in-house teams. Design for Under Milk Wood is by Hannah Clark, who creates a darkly gothic and earthy setting to offset a kaleidoscope of colourful characters.
A talented cast of Welsh actors has been assembled led by Aled Pugh in the role of the narrator. Winner of the Theatre in Wales Best Actor Award in 2006, Aled’s theatre credits include Hamlet at Royal & Derngate and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Globe Theatre. Matthew Bulgo, Sara Harris-Davies, Katy Owen and Welsh BAFTA-winner Arwel Gruffyd between them play the other 62 roles in this fast-moving piece.
Under Milk Wood takes to the Royal stage from Friday 1 May until Saturday 16 May, and helps mark the start of celebrations of 125th birthday of this magnificent Victorian auditorium. Tickets are priced from £26.50 to £10.50, with concessions, groups and schools discounts available. For more information or tickets, call the Box Office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.
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