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Preview: Under Milk Wood at Newcastle Northern Stage
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).
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.