Enjoy this title right now, plus millions more, with a free trial

Only $9.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

Under Milk Wood

Under Milk Wood


Under Milk Wood

ratings:
3.5/5 (8 ratings)
Length:
1 hour
Released:
Jan 15, 2015
ISBN:
9781580819718
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Matthew Rhys and Kate Burton headline a Welsh and Welsh-American cast celebrating the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth in a performance of his timeless “play for voices.” With characters such as Captain Cat, Polly Garter, and Nogood Boyo, Thomas brings to life the inhabitants of the fictional town of Llareggub in funny, poignant, and poetic detail.

Includes a conversation with Andrew Lycett, author of Dylan Thomas: A New Life.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast production, starring Matthew Rhys, Kate Burton, Laura Evans, John Francis, Jason Hughes, Christopher Monger, Cerris Morgan-Moyer, Jo Osmond, and Morgan Ritchie.

Directed by Sara Sugarman. Recorded before a live audience by L.A. Theatre Works.
Released:
Jan 15, 2015
ISBN:
9781580819718
Format:
Audiobook

About the author


Related to Under Milk Wood

Related Audiobooks

Related Articles


Reviews

What people think about Under Milk Wood

3.6
8 ratings / 15 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    This play is written more for radio than for stage, so it's more about voice than image. The work is reminiscent of Spoon River Anthology, except that most of the characters in this are living, and the action takes place over a single day in a small Welsh village. The characters are introduced as they sleep, and visited in their dreams, then as they awake, we move through the day with them, an ordinary day in a small village, nothing special. This is a play where nothing really happens. It's a slice of life on a quotidian day in a quotidian town. Thomas couches it in poetic language, making the events seem more like magic than mundane, and a chorus narrates through the entire play the events that are unfolding as we eavesdrop, occasionally explaining some detail of life that would otherwise go unremarked. A good read, but probably would be even better when spoken.
  • (3/5)
    Evocative poetry in prose, it must be the Welsh blood
  • (3/5)
    Somewhere I heard this referred to as a verse play and thus bought a copy because Dylan Thomas is a favorite poet of mine. However, it only occasionally breaks out into verse and that is largely folksy, coming from the mouths of the residents of a small Welsh town. It's not the sonic fireworks I love in Thomas. So the poetry was entirely disappointing to me. Dylan's prose, though, is rich and fun and the play overall is still enjoyable. The cast of characters are a bit of a jumble until about midway through. At that point, I started recognizing who was who. The townspeople are rendered both humorously and poignantly by turns. As a fan of Dylan Thomas, I'm glad to have it on my shelf but it didn't wow me as some of his work does.
  • (5/5)
    A play for voices. A literary symphony
  • (5/5)
    "I want to be a good boyo, but nobody'll let me." Really. That's five stars right there and ought to be on my headstone. Much better to listen to than to read but still a rollickin' great time.
  • (1/5)
    If I could go back in time about 45 minutes ago and beat myself into a bloody, vegetative state, or at least into an illiterate delirium, so that I wouldn't have read this book, I would. If I could fit pliers into my ears so that I could rip out the sound of this play from my head forever, I would. If I could dig up Dylan Thomas' body and rig it with explosives and blow it up, making me blind from the concussion and so ensuring that I never accidentally read so much as a line of this again, because I know I'm too lazy to learn Braille, I would.
  • (4/5)
    First read this in the early sixties and really rated it highly. Re-reading it now, it still excites and amazes in parts, but as a whole, it is not the masterpiece I once thought it was. Must get hold of a recording, because its better listened to than read.
  • (5/5)
    To my mind - and probably to the annoyance of a lot of Shakespeare purists - the best play ever written.At times, it feels like one long poem. The language (which includes - albeit selectively - nonsense words of Thomas' own ingenious invention) is quite simply beautiful. The characters are unique and memorable, and the narrative is positively dreamlike. Amazing, amazing piece of literature.
  • (5/5)
    Timeless. This must be one of the finest 'modern' plays. Great to listen to, great to act in, full of memorable quotes and songs.
  • (4/5)
    This play is written more for radio than for stage, so it's more about voice than image. The work is reminiscent of Spoon River Anthology, except that most of the characters in this are living, and the action takes place over a single day in a small Welsh village. The characters are introduced as they sleep, and visited in their dreams, then as they awake, we move through the day with them, an ordinary day in a small village, nothing special. This is a play where nothing really happens. It's a slice of life on a quotidian day in a quotidian town. Thomas couches it in poetic language, making the events seem more like magic than mundane, and a chorus narrates through the entire play the events that are unfolding as we eavesdrop, occasionally explaining some detail of life that would otherwise go unremarked. A good read, but probably would be even better when spoken.
  • (5/5)
    A radio 'feature', rather than a play, according to the introduction to my edition, Under Milk Wood is amazing. It's full of lively, unique description, a rapidfire sketch of village life. I can't even pick out a part I like best because all of it is vivacious and interesting. The description, on the first page, for just one example, of the night, 'starless and bible-black'. Dylan Thomas knew what he was doing when it came to language, at all times, and it shows.

    The introduction to this edition, by Walford Davies, is a very good one, giving an idea of the background of the story, context to explain what's going on, bits about Dylan's writing process... And the back is full of explanatory notes.

    A quick read. Likely to reward rereading richly, I'd say.
  • (5/5)
    This was a totally immersive pleasure. I savoured every word - and they're in abundance as they come at you almost without pause for thought or breath in this extended prose poem - 'a play for voices'. The tempo and rhythm matches that of a day's span: gentle and deliberate at times, busily frenzied at others. I don't know if this is Thomas' masterpiece as I'm only at the beginning of reading his work, but it must surely have been hard to better. It is a small piece of perfection - short in length but leaving a lasting impression. A day in the life of the backwater seaside town of Llareggub. I should say that it is a fictional town, but that almost seems ungrateful on my part - such is the power and vivid impression of his rendering of that place. It is a place alive with spirit and flavour, sounds and smells, tones and tastes. There are ghosts and poetry, dreams and gossip. Hopes and memories abound. At times I was struck by an almost Chagall-like sense of imagery. There are equal parts tragedy and wonder, as well as the fantastic and the banal; and a fair dollop of fruity humour to boot. I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook version remade by the BBC in 2003, featuring the pitch-perfect original recording of Richard Burton as 'First Voice', together with a new all-Welsh cast of many wonderful voices - including Sian Phillips as 'Second Voice'. I've seen the 1970s film adaptation before but this audio recording was superlative. Now I want a printed edition - and I hope there'll be a suitably designed commemorative one out in 2014 for the Thomas centenary - as I know that I will want to savour this all again, line by line, over and over. As soon as I finished it I put the first disc back in and had to listen to it all over again. It is a magical and beautiful thing.
  • (4/5)
    I’ll start with confessing this was purchased cuz it was cheap at my local used bookstore, and I had no clue what it was. Reading it as a normal play turned out to be a mistake as I couldn’t visualize. After 20–30 pages, I turned to Wiki for an intro and then it all made sense! Categorized as a RADIO drama, this charming, lyrical and (I can genuinely say) creative play takes the reader to Dylan’s favorite scenery: Welsh seaside small town, where their lives on one spring day in the fictional town of Llareggub unfolds – from before they wake via dreams, through narrators and conversations during the day, and to dusk when they head to bed and between the sheets. The story is told via 63 voices with 2 narrators plus dead and alive characters; voices and narrators often finish each other’s sentences to complete the thought. These town folks beguile us – a postman who steams open a love letter between a couple who have never set foot in each other’s homes, a husband who cooks a poison brew for his nagging wife, horny men, an affair, a 17 old looking for love, a butcher who sells questionable meat, and many more. Characters whose names reflect their profession adds entertainment – Dai Bread the baker, Organ Morgan the church organist, Jack Black the cobbler, and Evans the Death, the undertaker. Amazingly, Dylan worked on this play over the course of 10 years finishing only 1 month before he died at the age of 39 in 1953; this is his last gift to the literary world.Some quotes:On sexual innuendos:“…Throw away your little bedsocks and your Welsh wool knitted jacket, I will warm the sheets like an electric toaster, I will lie by your side like the Sunday roast.”And“…Poor little chimbley sweep she saidBlack as the ace of spadesO nobody’s swept my chimbleySince my husband went his ways.Come and sweep my chimbleyCome and sweep my chimbleyShe sighed to me with a blush…”On men-are-pigs or maybe lust:“Gossamer Beynon high-heels out of school. The sun hums down through the cotton flowers of her dress into the bell of her heart and buzzes in the honey there and crouches and kisses, lazy-loving and boozed, in her red-berried breast. Eyes run from the trees and windows of the street, steaming ‘Gossamer,’ and strip her to the nipples and the bees. She blazes naked past the Sailors Arms, the only woman on the Dai-Adamed earth. Sinbad Sailors places on her thighs still dewdamp from the first mangrowing cockcrow garden his reverent goat-bearded hands.”And:“I’ll tell you no lies.The only sea I sawWas the seesaw seaWith you riding on it.Lie down, lie easy.Let me shipwreck in your thighs.”On poisoning someone – interestingly, these were the funniest passages in the book:“Alone in the hissing laboratory of his wishes, Mr. Pugh minces among bad vats and jeroboams, tiptoes through spinneys of murdering herbs, agony dancing in his crucibles, and mixes especially for Mrs. Pugh a venomous porridge unknown to toxicologists which will scald and viper through her until her ears fall off like figs, her toes grow big and black as balloons, and steam comes screaming out of her navel.”And:“…You should wait until you retire to your sty, says Mrs. Pugh, sweet as a razor. His fawning measly quarter-smile freezes. Sly and silent, he foxes into his chemist’s den and there, in a hiss and prussic circle of cauldrons and phials brimming with pox and the Black Death, cooks up a fricassee of deadly nightshade, nicotine, hot frog, cyanide, and bat-spit for his needling stalactite hag and bednag of a pokerbacked nutcracker wife.”
  • (5/5)
    Under Milk Wood: A Play for Voices: Everyman Definitive Edition introduction and notes by Walford Davies.I read this edition, as I wanted a greater background to the play. This is the book for that. You can read the play very quickly, but it is probably better for a second reading.The introduction is nearly 40 pages (and there are copious notes after the play itself). I am glad I spent the time reading the intro as it gave a great insight and whetted the appetite for the actual (short) play. It certainly highlighted interesting and salient parts I would have otherwise missed. You fall into the play, as you would image from a poet as great as Thomas. Written two years before his death, this was a culmination of his poetry before, but what might have come after may well have surpassed this, using the idea of the village being deemed as mad by bureaucrats and turned into a lunatic asylum, with all the villagers unaware they are defined as ‘mad!’ – “Are you mad in a sane world, or sane in a mad world??” That is the question? Thomas would have written an even better play than this had he not died tragically young (39).The narration is pure poetry and the surreal nature of the voices is compelling and bewitching, bordering on genius.Don’t skip the intro, your enjoyment will be lessened, but what you’ve never known, you never miss!On a similar note if you are about to set sail on Ulysses a similar approach will pay dividends. If you are about to set sail on Finnegan’s Wake, – you’re ‘mad in a sane world!’ The writing IMP
  • (5/5)
    I've read the reviews for the "conventional" copies of this book/play. I say conventional, but there is nothing conventional about the works of Dylan Thomas - just sheer literary genius. I've read the book, seen the play, watched it on television, have at least two LP's of various versions, and finally bought the ultimate version, which is anything but conventional. I just used that word to distinguish it from all the other versions. This must be one of the most important pieces of calligraphy of the last century, and was commissioned in 1961 by Edward Hornby. " The choice of the text was central to the artist's inspiration. The layout of the play gave pattern to the pages. The voices of the characters added variety, the musical quality of the language and underlying sound of the sea combined to engender a use of colour as harmony that is one of Sheila's special gifts. This is sustained throughout the eighty pages of the original folio."I urge anyone who is a devotee of the works of Dylan Thomas to see this edition. It adds a whole new dimension to the work!