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Under Milk Wood

Catch a one-of-a-kind staged radio production of Under Milk Wood

Production runs from November 21 to December 1

November 20, 2018 — 

Join the Black Hole Theatre for their unique production of Under Milk Wood, an intriguing play that follows the ordinary, day-to-day life of the people within a small Welsh fishing village.

The renowned Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas originally created Under Milk Wood as a radio drama that made its debut in 1953 and was later adapted into a play. This staged radio drama is both comedic and deeply moving as it speaks to the human condition and how strange and miraculously ordinary life really is.

There will also be a Kyōgen pre-show, which will be presented by the University of Manitoba’s Asian Studies Centre. It will be a short play along with one song featuring students currently studying Japanese theatre.

Capturing the voices

Faculty of Arts students Reid Girard and Hayley Stacey play the narrators who represent Dylan Thomas and his wife. Reid Girard, majoring in English and minoring in theatre, has been acting on stage since elementary school. Girard’s past credits with the Black Hole Theatre include After Magritte (2015), The Rover (2017) and Marat/Sade (2018). Hayley Stacey is a political studies and theatre student who comes from a musical theatre background. Her stage credits include Into the Woods (Opera NUOVA) and City Workers in Love (Opera NUOVA) and Marat/Sade (2018) with the Black Hole Theatre.

Girard acknowledges, “the main challenge in capturing the voice of Dylan Thomas was to make the text as clear as possible; however, at the same time make sure the poetry of the lines came through. Under Milk Wood is such a surreal piece and trying to make every word as clear to the audience was one of the biggest challenges from the beginning.”

Noh and Kyōgen – Stylistic elements annunciate differences

The Japanese Noh dances and Kyōgen scenes seamlessly flow in and out of the show. Noh and Kyōgen are very different, as each style comes with their own way of moving and speaking.

“The western scene and Noh and Kyōgen scenes are markedly different, but this makes for an extremely interesting and unique theatre experience,” said Stacey. “The formality of the Noh and Kyōgen scenes, compared to the more ‘casual’ nature of the western scenes, helps annunciate the difference between the rigidness of a god fearing and uptight town, and the realities of the day-to-day life of a small town and all of its quirks.”

Explores poetry and magic of everyday life

Under Milk Wood is a very strange and beguiling piece, but in the best way,” said Girard. “To me the show is an evocative exploration of the poetry and magic of everyday life, which I think audiences will appreciate. The show has lots of humour and joy in it while also including some elements which are incredibly sad. This production of Under Milk Wood is definitely a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience.”

“I think audiences will find the experiences of the characters in the show relatable and familiar; whether it be the marriages and relationship, nosey neighbours, or the local bar,” said Stacey. “Dylan Thomas has done a masterful job at making the mundanity of everyday life beautiful, and our directors Bob Smith and William Lee, along with all the designers of the show, have made the text truly come to life.”

Get your tickets today

Tickets are $20 regular, $15 for alumni/arts workers, and $10 for students. Tickets can be reserved in advance or purchased at the door of John J. Conklin Theatre in the Gail Asper Performing Arts Hall, Taché Hall, 150 Dafoe Road, University of Manitoba.

Performance dates:

  • November 21-24 at 7:30 PM
  • November 25 at 2:00 PM
  • November 27-December 1 at 7:30 PM

Note: Talkback with cast and crew will follow the November 27 performance.

For reservation and group discounts, contact (204) 474-6880.

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