Friday, November 9, 2018

Under Milk Wood - Review - Northern Stage

Under Milk Wood
Northern Stage 
6th November, 2018

Direction: by Elayce Ismail
Cast:  Christina Berriman Dawson, David Kirkbride

Listen - you will hear the lyrical words of Dylan Thomas spoken, not in his native lilting Welsh but in a soft cadence of North East England. Would this work? Surprisingly, yes it does. Dylan Thomas's words lend themselves well to the softness of a northern accent.

Listen - you will hear the sound of the sea, waves breaking over the rocks, and the sound of the wind, sighing through trees and howling across fields. You will hear bells ring, and clocks tick and birds sing. And you will hear words - an unstoppable stream of them spilling out from the mouths of two actors, playing a multitude of characters, weaving stories and dreams around a room filled with people - listening, listening, spellbound.

Listen - Christina and David will take you on a journey through the lives of a village, transforming themselves into characters - quirky and strange and sinister and forlorn - with the droop of a shoulder, the tilt of a head, or the lowering of a voice. From daybreak to dusk you will love with them, laugh with them, be surprised by them, be shocked by them. You will share in their joys and their sadnesses, their hopes and their dreams.

Picture credit Pamela Raith
Listen - and concentrate! Look at the images projected onto the walls but don't be distracted by them.  They will draw your attention away from the words, with their mosaics of blinking eyes and disembodied talking mouths - as strange as the dreams of the people of Llareggub.

Listen and you will hear and feel and live the life of a village.

Listen, because this play is all about words, and sounds, and feelings.
Listen, because the rest is dressing, clever and interesting and surprising, but ultimately distracting.

Under Milk Wood plays at Norther Stage until 17th November.        

Denise Sparrowhawk

No comments:

Post a Comment