‘Under Milk Wood’ (BBC One Wales)

’ granddaughter talks about .

“To begin at the beginning”… The famous opening to one of Wales’s most famous sons’ famous plays. To celebrate the centenary of ’ birth, the BBC has produced countless documentaries, performances and events spanning 2014. But perhaps this new and exciting production of was the most highly anticipated of all the celebratory productions.

Starring an all Welsh cast it was a spectacular display of the amazing talent Wales has produced over the years. From the legendary Sir as blind Captain Cat, to playing the over bearing Mrs. Ogmore-Pritchard to the relative newcomer to our screens and Aneurin Barnard. The casting was absolutely spot on with ’s deep voice the perfect tone for the narrator and stunning musical vocals from and giving this production a truly Welsh feel.

Directed by , the simple backdrops and still stance of the actors emphasised that this truly was a play for voices. You could close your eyes and feel yourself transported to the “Bible black” streets of Llaregubb, which read backwards spells out – Buggerall. The direction and production of this one off masterpiece was one of the best I have seen and the transition of what was written as a radio play into an hour long television drama was fantastic and kept so true to the original feeling of the play.

One of the most brilliant performances was given by and , playing Mr and Mrs. Pugh. ’s eyes spoke volumes of his character’s hatred towards his wife. The poisoned biscuits and arsenic lined tea were delivered with pure twisted evil and ’ portrayal of Mrs. Pugh was equally as cold and icy. gave a simple portrayal of the loved up Mog Edwards whilst played the sweet and lovely Myfanwy Price beautifully.

There was only one weakness in my opinion to the whole production and that was the part of Mae Rose Cottage, played by . The use of ‘Skype’ or video calling during her parts didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the production. I felt she did her best with what she was given, but the potential to play Mae Rose Cottage as the sensual, flirtatious and raunchy girl was lost by only having her distorted face visible on screen.

I could go on and on about how wonderful this production was. There were great partnerships throughout the play. With Mrs. Dai Bread One and Mrs. Dai Bread Two played with natural easy and comedic effect by the equally talented and . In a play such as , where no one character truly takes centre stage of another, the limelight never standing still on one character for long, the use of different locations and actors worked fantastically. Having Sir in a luxurious hotel room overlooking the Thames in London and in a bar in LA was a brilliant touch bringing the international spread of Welsh talent together to show the world what the Welsh can do.

A Welsh play about a Welsh town written by a Welsh poet performed by a cast of Welsh actors. I truly felt proud to be Welsh watching this production and commend the BBC for such an outstanding production.

Cymru Am Byth!

Rating: 5 out of 5

Dafydd Llyr Ifan

Dafydd is a 22-year-old final year Creative Writing student. Having starting acting when he was 5 years old, he has been actively involved with theatre and TV all his life. With a passion for acting, writing, stage and screen his only other love are his dogs and stamp collection.

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2 comments on ‘Under Milk Wood’ (BBC One Wales)

  1. avatar Stewart Green says:

    I totally agree the Under Milk Wood production is wonderful, brilliantly directed and produced. More of this quality of production please BBC.

  2. avatar Pip Thomas says:

    An excellent production but was omitting The Rev Eli Jenkins’ morning Poem/Prayer necessary, it was very noticeable.

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