Book 18 – Under Milk Wood

“Under Milk Wood” by Dylan Thomas (1954)

A recording of the 2003 radio production starring Richard Burton and Sian Phillips

My first exposure to “Under Milk Wood” was a Sydney Theatre Company production starring Jack Thompson as First Voice in 2012. There was much concern at the time that an Australian audience couldn’t possible give Dylan Thomas’ work the Welsh justice it deserved. Personally, I thought it was a wonderful, engaging and beautiful production and Thompson was spellbinding.

“Under Milk Wood” is a ‘play for voices’. Richard Burton narrated as First Voice for the BBC in 1963, and this 2003 production included Burton’s original performance digitally remastered and added to an all-Welsh cast that was absolutely magnificent.

Touching, eerie, and very funny, the play tells the story of a day in the life of the inhabitants of a small Welsh town by the seaside. The play explores their dreams and routines, their loves and regrets, their hopes and fears. To be honest, this is one of the most beautiful recordings of any text that I have ever listened to. So lyrical, so magical, an absolute delight.

Just like “Alice in Wonderland” I am left trying to come up with a reason to teach this text. Maybe Dion will never get his CDs back!!!


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