April 2014 | Nate Pedersen

Welsh Town to Celebrate Dylan Thomas with Immersive Theater Performance


Celebrations are underway all over the world this year for the centenary of Dylan Thomas' birth. But one of the most unusual - and most intriguing celebrations will occur in the Welsh town of Laugharne. Thomas lived there for the final four years of his life, calling it "the strangest town in Wales." Laugharne, and its residents, were the direct inspirations for Thomas's last great masterpiece, the play "Under Milk Wood." Described as Thomas's attempt at a Welsh Ulysses, the play features an omniscient narrator who describes in minute and poetic detail the lives, dreams, and thoughts of the inhabitants of Llareggub ("bugger all" backwards), a small coastal village in Wales.

To celebrate the centenary of their most famous export, the residents of Laugharne are banding together with the Welsh National Theatre to produce an immersive theatrical adaptation of "Under Milk Wood." Entitled "Raw Material: Llareggub Revisited," the live theatre event invites audience members on a stroll through Laugharne where they will encounter characters in the play acting out their roles in situ. The free-rolling adaptation will be as much about the residents of Laugharne as it will be about the actors performing the parts.

National Theatre Wales describes the play as such:

On foot, we will explore hidden and transformed spaces as we find Thomas's characters re-imagined on screen by some of Wales's most extraordinary and well-loved performers. As we go on our trail through the town, local townsfolk introduce us to the actions, habits and secrets that make today's Laugharne as curious and unique a place as it was when Thomas called it home.

The play takes place between May 3rd and 5th, however tickets are already sold out.  BBC Wales will also be on hand to record the entire performance for broadcast on May 5th.

[Image of Dylan Thomas' boathouse from Wikipedia]