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I was thrilled to find Under Milkwood; I've loved its sly ribald barbs, and to hear Richard Burton's declamation and Welsh accent was a treat. This production with its multiple actors is also easier to follow than Dylan Thomas's own solo performance.
Like so many celebrities today, Thomas died in his late 30's, from the combination of alcohol and narcotics from a Dr. Feelgood who neglected Thomas's pneumonia during a New York performance tour of Under Milkwood.
Thomas's radio-play is a poetic masterpiece from the mid-20th century, literally meant to be spoken aloud, and now to be 're-wound' to enjoy the wordplay.
It is a stream-of-consciousness eavesdropping on the dreams, secrets and gossip of a night and day in a entire Welsh village, petty vices and great passions peeking through their conservative veneer. And who among us on such a night has not been stirred by spring 'like a spoon', or dreamt of their lover, 'whacking-thighed and piping hot'.
'And Lily Smalls is up to Nogood Boyo in the wash-house.'
'And Cherry Owen, sober as Sunday as he is every day of the week, goes off happy as Saturday to get drunk as a deacon as he does every night. 'I always say she's got two husbands,' Cherry Owen says, 'one drunk and one sober. And Mrs Cherry simply says, 'And aren't I a lucky woman? Because I love them both.''
Over lunch, the schoolmaster researches how to poison his wife, pretending to the read 'Lives of the Great Saints'. His intended victim sniffs, "I saw you talking to a saint this morning. Saint Polly Garter. She was martyred again last night. Mrs Organ Morgan saw her with Mr Waldo."
"But it is not his name that Polly Garter whispers as she lies under the oak and loves him back. Six feet deep that name sings in the cold earth."
Dated, yes, but an often overlooked classic, read by one of the greatest British poetic actors, with today's technology: a treat indeed. For less than $10, one of these characters will make you laugh or cry.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
It is difficult for me to think of a better version of this wonderful piece of verse (A Play for Voices). It begins at the beginning, with Dylan Thomas' fantastic ear and his fisheye for detail; and then continues on with the soothingly lyrical tones of Richard Burton, as only he can sound. It concludes with a whimsical quip, leaving the listener ever longing for just one more verse of all those lovely voices.
I first listened to this as a young boy on long drives to the beach, marvelling at the words and the voices that match so perfectly. It still conjures up for me those times and brings a smile or a frown, as if on cue. It is a little piece of heaven to be treasured. I would give it a perfect score, but alas, the technology cannot impose what the original had not; and perhaps, that's the way it should be. I can almost here Van Morrison, that more recent Gaelic poet, crooning just that!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
as a kid this was one of the first stories that I remember being read to me, when I was older I managed to get it on tape, and I kept playing it as the characters intrigued me so much could not get enough of it not matter how often I listened to it, but over the year the tape wore out and I forgot everything about it until I joined Amazon and started using Kindle then I joined Audible what a great area to have books that you can listen to, guess what the first thing I bought was Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas I could not believe it when I downloaded and started to listen to it especially as it was narrated by Richard Burton with that strong voice and the lilt of the Welsh you felt you were in the place and watching and listening to the characters and you felt that you could actually see the place the way it was described even though no place exists, It is a lovely tale well read and told, i feel that all you listen to this and forget the world as it is and enjoy the story
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Once heard never forgotten..it can't be bettered it haunts your memory and evokes a long-departed era that our modern times have left far behind us...Burton never was better than this..how I miss his voice..BBC at its very best.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I studied this play in my final year of high school and still love it to this day. The best recording of them all - just how the piece was meant to be enjoyed.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful