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Preview: Under Milk Wood at Newcastle Northern Stage

Under Milk Wood
Written by Dylan Thomas
Newcastle Northern Stage
Friday 2 - Saturday 17 November 2018

Originally written as a BBC radio drama by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood gets a contemporary, technological twist under the direction of The War of the Worlds director Elayce Ismail. 

An enfolding, haunting and at times unsettling experience, this ‘play for voices’ offers a glimpse of a golden era that may never have existed. It follows 24 hours in the lives of a collection of characters who inhabit the fictional town of Llareggub, and was made into a film starring Richard Burton with Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O’Toole. 

Director Elayce Ismail is currently Associate Director at Northern Stage as part of a pilot scheme by the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme (RTYDS) aimed at preparing directors with a strong professional track record for artistic leadership.  Elayce has directed theatre and opera for companies including the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Young Vic, Gate, Soho Theatre, Royal Court, The Yard and Deutsches Theater Berlin. 

Elayce explains, “The fabric of the play allows you to get a glimpse of people's secret stories - their desires, dreams, and disappointments – whilst conjuring a natural world that is rich, sensual and evocative. For me, the beauty of Thomas’ text lies in the surprising rhythms, tones and textures of his words: he delights in language, and through it creates characters that are surreal and yet reveal so much about human nature. In this new production, we're creating a dream-like space that invites you to listen: immersing the audience in a playful soundscape, beautiful layered visuals and imaginative storytelling.”

Christina Berriman Dawson
Taking on multiple roles including Captain Cat, the old blind sea captain who dreams of his drowned shipmates; Myfanwy Price, the sweetshop-keeper lusting after Mog Edwards; Organ Morgan, obsessed with his music; postman Willy Nilly who reads his neighbours’ letters; and Mrs. Ogmore-Pritchard, relentlessly nagging her two dead husbands, the cast are Christina Berriman Dawson (Key Change, Open Clasp) and David Kirkbride (Pinocchio, National Theatre). 

David Kirkbride
Alongside Director Elayce Ismail, the creative team includes award-winning set and costume designer Jen McGinley - Jen has recently worked on The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Prasanna Puwanarajah, National Youth Theatre) and The Secret Life of Humans (David Byrne, New Diorama Theatre); lighting designer, Andy Purves - a regular with Frantic Assembly and The National Theatre of Scotland; sound designer Richard Hammarton whose work includes the Olivier Award-winning production The Mountaintop and the Ivor Novello award-winning Ripper Street for BBC Television; and film maker Kris Deedigan who worked with Northern Stage’s Young company to create visuals for David Almond’s A Song for Ella Grey.

Tickets start at £10; for more details or to book tickets see or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.

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