Out & About


Patrick Boyle • 30 May 2012

Set in the sleepy peripheries of coastal Wales in the fictional fishing village of Llareggub, Dylan Thomas’ classic – ‘Under Milk Wood’ – is best understood as a poem, written by a drunk, and adapted for the stage. Much like most drunks, Thomas is uninhibited by the confines of one story. Unlike most drunks, he is considered one of the literary geniuses of his generation. The Sydney Theatre Comapany’s reproduction captures the essence of this genius in a thoroughly enjoyable night’s entertainment.

Thomas’ pungent and melodic verses affectionately sketch the villagers’ lives through an energetic progression of short vignettes. In all, thirty-nine characters are introduced. The rich complexity of Thomas’ script, coupled with the volume of characters and scenes introduced have afforded ‘Under Milk Wood’ a reputation for being difficult to stage. These problems are however, brilliantly resolved by Director, Kip Williams, who earns his reputation as an exciting emerging talent in Australian theatre.

The set is pared back, with sufficient detail to provide context whilst permitting expedient transitions between different sequences of drama. This ensures the audience remains engaged in the action and largely avoids the confusion that might otherwise attend such a complicated script. The cast is well chosen with Jack Thompson’s euphonic narration capturing the essence of Thomas’s work.

‘Under Milk Wood’ is a vivid and engaging production, which is particularly suited to those with an appreciation for language or a love of poetry. You’ll need to be quick, however, as the show’s short season expires 7 July.

‘Under Milk Wood’
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

26 May – 7 July

Season Ticket Prices
$40 – $80
Single Ticket Prices
$45 – $90

Kip Williams
Set Designer
Robert Cousins
Original Costume Design
Alice Babidge
Lighting Designer
Damien Cooper
Musical Director & Composer
Alan John
Sound Designer
Steve Francis
Costume Realiser
David Fleischer
Voice and Dialect Director
Charmian Gradwell
Andrew Upton
Scenic Photographer
Derek Henderson

Paula Arundell, Ky Baldwin, Alex Chorley, Drew Forsythe, Cameron Goodall, Sandy Gore, Alan John, Drew Livingston, Bruce Spence, Jack Thompson, Helen Thomson
1 hour 40 minutes, no interval