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Llareggub - oil by Vick Bennison

Under Milk Wood

by Dylan Thomas
April 6-9, 2000, AFS, 14 Court Street, Nashua. More performance info.

Notes culled from several different pages on the web:

Completed just before the author's death in 1953, this masterpiece gives full expression to Dylan Thomas's sense of the magnificent flavor and variety of life. A moving and hilarious account of a spring day in a small Welsh coastal town, Under Milk Wood begins in the dreams and ghosts before dawn, moves through the brilliant, noisy day of the townspeople and closes as "the rain of dusk brings on the bawdy night."

Thomas wrote the piece, which he called "a play for voices," for radio in 1953. Recalling James Joyce in his word play and William Butler Yeats in his poetic cadence, Thomas constructed a vivid and energetic wash of words delivered by clever tongues that provoke images of a small Welsh fishing village. Often compared to Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" for its drift through a bobtail of time, Milk Wood is less thematic. It draws laughs, sorrow, pity; it provokes ideas and shows us the universal. But it is about nothing more than life, loss, love and liberty. While this play is a lark through a spring day, it is evident that the poet drew his greatest inspiration from tragedy. - Graydon Royce

This masterpiece by the poet and storyteller whose celebration of the cadences of English as spoken by the Welsh has brought him world renown. With over 50 roles for the actors to play, the eccentric characters of a Welsh village appear and disappear like wonderful insects on a Summer's day.

The play begins in the dead of night when only ghosts speak from the depths of Thomas's beloved Welsh sea and gradually we get to know this dreamy village as though we had lived there all our lives. As the inhabitants awake, it is Spring; the characters love, laugh, gossip and share their secrets with us until at dusk they sleep again.

Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard (to her husbands): "Soon it will be time to go to bed. Tell me your tasks in order".

Mr Ogmore and Mr Pritchard: "We must take our pyjamas from the drawer marked pyjamas".

Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard (coldly): "And then you must take them off".

Such is the joy and irreverent sense of humour with which Thomas captures a whole community.

Detailed Notes on Under Milk Wood by Dr. Chris Grooms