British theatre company to bring classic play to Malta

A touring production of Under Milk Wood by legendary poet and writer Dylan Thomas will come to Valletta in October.

Photo credit: Nora Summers

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Under Milk Wood, the classic play by acclaimed Welsh poet and playwright Dylan Thomas, is soon to be performed in Malta by British company, Moonlight Theatre.

Set in a fictional Welsh seaside town, Under Milk Wood tells the story of its colourful mix of quirky and eccentric residents.

Noting the similarities between the two small countries of Wales and Malta, the touring company felt that Valletta would be the ideal place to stage the show.

“The themes in Under Milk Wood – set in a small seaside town with quirky characters – seem to lend themselves very well to Valletta and many communities in Malta,” said Ainslie Freeman, one of the play’s lead actors. “The play travels very well: it has comedy, it has some tragedy and it has beautiful, lyrical language.”

Dylan Thomas called his new drama a ‘play for voices’ when it was first performed in New York in 1953, but Under Milk Wood works equally well on radio or stage, and there have also been memorable versions produced for the small and big screen. Described by renowned Welsh actor Richard Burton as a ‘comic masterpiece’, the hugely funny and charming foibles of the play’s mix of characters are as resonant today as they were nearly 70 years ago.

Meanwhile, Welsh company Moonlight Theatre is more than equipped to showcase this much-loved comic play. Founded in 1998, the troupe first staged open air musical theatre productions in Wales, becoming an annual fixture on the local theatre scene for a decade. They will be continuing that tradition with live music in this production. Most recently, Moonlight staged the highly-acclaimed professional premiere in London of a stage adaptation of ‘The Iron Woman’ by late poet laureate, Ted Hughes.

Moonlight Theatre’s touring cast of 11 actors for Under Milk Wood mostly hail from Cardiff or Swansea – home town of Dylan Thomas, while the director, John Rhys Thomas, is a former chairman of the Dylan Thomas Society. He has already received critical acclaim for touring productions of the play in New York, Harvard and Canada.

The Moonlight Theatre production of Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas will be performed at Valletta Campus Theatre (ex MITP), Valletta, on the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th October 2019, with all performances starting at 7.30 pm. Tickets start at €10 and are available online.