Whilst I don’t have a television set, I do occasionally watch programmes online.
Browsing through the schedules, I discovered a BBC Wales production of Under Milk Wood, the celebrated play for voices by Dylan Thomas.
Originally conceived as a radio play, Under Milk Wood has been performed in many guises over the years and the definitive version exists in an audio recording featuring Richard Burton in the role of Narrator, whose famous opening line: "It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black ..." always makes me shiver with anticipation.
As an admirer of the Burton version, I approached the new BBC production with trepidation. It features numerous well-known Welsh performers, including Sian Phillips, Jonathan Pryce, Michael Sheen, Bryn Terfel and Tom Jones, speaking to camera, interspersed with images of Laugharne, where Dylan Thomas lived and worked.
I am happy to report that the performance was a triumph and the visual dimension, together with an excellent cast, brought added energy to the poetry of the original script.
If you want a hugely enjoyable literary treat, I recommend you watch it while it’s still available at:-