Welcome to the latest monthly round up of news and events relating to the poet Dylan Thomas.
Latest DT100 Centenary Plans
An updated leaflet has been issued by the Dylan Thomas centenary project (DT100) giving further details of some of the centenary events. Download the leaflet here.
Here are some of the new details to be confirmed –
A major exhibition of the illustrations of scenes from Under Milk Wood by Sir Peter Blake will take place at the National Museum in Cardiff from 23rd November 2013.
The BBC will host a Dylan Thomas Season on television and radio during March and April 2014, including independent documentary commissions, a BBC documentary with the working title “Dylan from the Archive”, and Dylan related material on factual, arts, and news programmes.
The annual Swansea Festival of Music and The Arts in October 2014 will include three Dylan Thomas events, all at Brangwyn Hall. “The Music in the Words” with members of Ensemble Cymru, the Wales premiere of “A Dylan Thomas Trilogy” by John Corigliano, and the world premiere of Karl Jenkins’ “Three Images from Dylan Thomas” with the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra.
The National Library of Wales will stage a public symposium on Dylan Thomas in December 2014.
The DT100 project have also launched an official twitter feed.
Our previous round-up of DT100 events can be viewed here.
Prince of Wales visit to Laugharne
The Prince of Wales will be visiting Laugharne on July 1st as part of his annual summer visit to Wales. The Prince, who is royal patron of the Dylan Thomas centenary will visit Dylan’s former home, the Boathouse, and the nearby writing shed where Dylan worked.
“Rev” Actor to play Dylan Thomas for BBC
The star of BBC sitcom “Rev”, Tom Hollander, will play Dylan Thomas in the Andrew Davies scripted BBC drama, “A Poet in New York”, due for 2014, reports the Daily Mail. Former “Shameless” actress, Anne Marie Duff, will play Caitlin. The drama, based on the poet’s final days in New York, is being made by Griff Rhys Jones’ production company, Modern TV.
Following on from last month’s publication of a major new critical study of Dylan Thomas’ poetry, and the forthcoming new collected poems, edited by Professor John Goodby, a number of other Dylan related books are due to be published soon.
Chairman of the Dylan Thomas Society and antiquarian bookdealer, Jeff Towns, has written “Dylan Thomas Pubs”, exploring Dylan’s love of the pub in Wales, London, and the USA. The book is illustrated by Wyn Thomas and will be published by Y Lolfa.
Jeff is also co-editing, alongside Gwen Watkins, a collection of Vernon Watkins’ unpublished prose. “Vernon Watkins on Dylan Thomas and other poets & writers” will be published by Parthian Books later this year.
And it doesn’t end there, as Jeff tells us he’s working on two further books, one on the photographs of Dylan, Caitlin, and Augustus John, taken by Nora Summers, and another that will publish for the first time Dylan’s letters to Pearl Kazin.
If you want to catch up with Jeff and his books then keep a look out for Dylan’s Mobile Bookstore, the latest incarnation of the famous Dylan’s Bookstore that was formerly based in Salubrious Passage, Swansea, and later in the Dylan Thomas Centre.
Jeff has launched Britain’s first mobile bookshop and will be visiting festivals and events with stock tailored to the occasion. The ‘mobile bookstore’ has already been booked up to appear at several events next year including the Laugharne Weekend, the Welsh Literature Festival at Dinefwr Castle, the National Eisteddfod in Carmarthen, the Do Not Go Gentle Festival in Swansea, and Welsh language book fairs in Bala & Aberystwyth.
Matthew Hughes of Laugharne is relaunching the works of Stanley and Min Lewis which will see Min’s book, “Laugharne & Dylan Thomas”, back in print. Stanley and Min lived in Laugharne and were friends of Dylan, Caitlin, and later Aeronwy Thomas. Prints of Stanley Cornwell Lewis MBE’s illustrations will also be available for the first time including those depicting Laugharne in the 50s & 60s, and the characters who may have inspired ‘Under Milk Wood’. Further details can be found on the new facebook page ‘The Creative World of Stanley C. Lewis MBE & Min Lewis.
Another Dylan Thomas book to be re-issued is Derek Perkins’ 1995 book, “Dylan Thomas and His World”, published by Domino, which looks at the localities in which Dylan worked.
Singer-songwriter and DJ, Cerys Matthews, a passionate advocate for the work of Dylan Thomas and a patron of his centenary, has called for his work to be part of the national curriculum in Wales. Speaking at the Hay Festival, Cerys told the South Wales Evening Post that Thomas isn’t cherished enough.
Cerys Matthews was also leading a debate on twitter over suggestions there should be an annual “Dylan Day” to celebrate the work of Dylan Thomas, possibly organised along similar lines to the Bloomsday events that celebrate the work of James Joyce, or the annual Burns Night celebrations of Robbie Burns. We would certainly agree that this could be a brilliant way to demonstrate the enduring legacy of Dylan Thomas’ work and a way to introduce his work to new audiences. We’ll keep an eye on developments.
Andrew Sinclair, director of the 1972 film adaptation of Under Milk Wood, has given an interview to the North Wales Daily Post, and talked about the challenge of taking the work of Dylan Thomas to the big screen, and what it was like to work with acting royalty such as Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and Peter O’Toole.
Literature Wales – Cross the Taf Estuary With Dylan Thomas
One of this year’s series of literary tourism events arranged by Literature Wales is an innovative canoe trip across the Taf estuary from Laugharne in the company of Dylan experts Dr John Goodby and Jeff Towns. This will be followed by an evening of Dylan Thomas, jazz, and New York food. The event takes place on 20th July, the brochure can be downloaded here.
Laugharne Boathouse Events
Amongst the regular events arranged at the Boathouse in Laugharne are these Dylan themed happenings.
August 29th – Actor Mark Montinaro presents a mini fest of Dylan Thomas’ work
November 9th – Autumn Talk – Dylan Remembered with George Tremlett (Dylan biographer & owner of Corran Books in Laugharne)
November 24th – Autumn Talk – Laugharne in the 50’s, Dylan’s Laugharne with John Bradshaw and Chips Jenkins
December 1st, 8th, & 15th – Christmas At The Dylan Thomas Boathouse, with a performance of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Mark Montinaro.
Dylan Thomas Festival
The annual Dylan Thomas Festival takes place in Swansea from 27th October to November 9th. This year’s festival will include the launch of a new Dylan Thomas centenary commission by Gillian Clarke, a preview of Fluellen Theatre‘s production of Dylan’s “Rebecca’s Daughters”, and an evening of reading from Dylan’s work in his old local, The Uplands Tavern.
Under Milk Wood
A number of productions of Dylan Thomas’s classic play for voices are planned.
Cwmdonkin Park, Swansea 3rd-4th July
Common Touch Theatre Company, Battersea Park School 4th-6th July
Oval House Theatre, London 3rd-6th July
Frome Festival, Somerset 13th July
Southwell Library Poetry Festival, Nottinghamshire 21st July
John Abbott College at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 5th-9th August – Find out how the students are getting on, on our blog.
Al Whittle Theatre, Wolfville, NS, Canada 10th-18th August
Stratford Festival, Canada, August 29th
Wheatsheaf, Fitzrovia, London 8th-9th November – A production on the 60th anniversary of Dylan’s death at the public house where he met Caitlin in 1936.
Forthcoming Dylan Thomas related events at the Swansea park where Dylan spent much of his boyhood.
Do Not Go Gentle Festival
The festival based in Dylan Thomas’s home suburb of Uplands, Swansea, that launched in 2012, returns in 2013, 1st-3rd November.