'Community of top Welsh talent' sign up for rival adaptations of Dylan Thomas’s 'Under Milk Wood' to mark the poet's centenary

Charlotte Church, Gareth Edwards, Lord Kinnock, Sir Tom Jones, Michael Sheen, Katherine Jenkins, Griff Rhys Jones and Ioan Gruffudd among those appearing in the two productions

If you are Welsh, have any kind of public profile and are not starring in a screen adaptation of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, then you need to speak with your agent.

Singer Charlotte Church, rugby legend Gareth Edwards and Neil Kinnock have joined the cast of a film version of Dylan Thomas's “play for voices”.

Shot separately in English and Welsh, and part financed by Welsh broadcaster S4C, Rhys Ifans will play First Voice in the film of the famous radio play, set in the fictional Welsh seaside town of Llareggub and first performed in 1954.

Church has been cast in the role of Polly Garter, while Lord Kinnock and Edwards will make guest appearances.

However this Under Milk Wood, with the title Dan Y Wenallt, follows hot on the heels of a BBC Wales adaptation, also timed to coincide with the poet’s centenary, which features practically every other famous Welsh personality.

Sir Tom Jones stars as Captain Cat, alongside Michael Sheen (First Voice), Katherine Jenkins, Matthew Rhys, Jonathan Pryce, Griff Rhys Jones, Bryn Terfel, Ioan Gruffudd, Siân Phillips, Charlotte Church again (Mrs Ogmore Pritchard) and a host of other well-known Welsh actors in the production screened by BBC1 Wales last month.

The BBC said its “unique, one-off” version, presented in collaboration with National Theatre Wales, had gathered “a community of top Welsh talent in New York, Los Angeles, London, Cardiff and Laugharne.”

In Thomas’s play, a narrator introduces Llareggub’s townspeople, beginning with an old sea captain who dreams of his deceased crew members and lost love. Under Milk Wood was previously adapted into a film in 1972, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

The Rhys Ifans film will shoot in the harbour village of Solva, Pembrokeshire, over six weeks. In the S4C version, Church will co-star as Polly Garter, a woman pining for her lost lover. Dozens of villagers have been cast as extras.

Director Kevin Allen said: “We want to veer away from delivering a dull, literal reflection of Thomas's original work, intending instead to explore some of the more erotic, visceral elements of the richly funny, filthily fluid, magical dreamscape - whilst not stooping to mess with Thomas's original text.”

Allen, director of the cult Welsh thriller Twin Town and the uncle of singer Lily Allen, secured the UK and international film rights to the radio drama after lengthy negotiations with the Milkwood Trust. Ifans will also present a making-of documentary as part of the Dylan 100 Centenary celebrations.

For Lord Kinnock, Under Milk Wood marks his first acting performance since the then Leader of the Opposition made a cameo appearance in Tracey Ullman’s 1984 pop video for her single My Guy.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on