|Under Milk Wood | Sydney Theatre Company|
|Written by Emily Garrett|
|Tuesday, 29 May 2012 16:34|
Left – Cameron Goodall and Paula Arundell. Cover - Alan John, Drew Livingston, Helen Thomson and Drew Forsythe. Photos – Heidrun Löhr
Magical, breathtaking, intriguing and warm.
Sydney Theatre Company’s adaption of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood is a magnificent ‘comedy of sex’; as well, it’s an exploration of humanity, a humorous yet equally sombre picture of the goings-on in a village from dusk til dawn. Narrated by the rich-voiced and aptly cast Jack Thompson, and supported by a convincing cast including outstanding performances by Helen Thomson, Bruce Spence, Paula Arundell and more, the characters gradually reveal to us their seemingly simple personal trials and tribulations. Excellent acoustics and sound design coupled with a highly realistic set – a highlight being the rising of dawn, a spectacular pink light which slowly rises as we watch the backdrop – engage us wholeheartedly in this almost cinematic, visceral, portrayal.
The beauty of the staging is striking; the constant movement of characters in lines from left to right, vice versa and diagonally, is cleverly done and has a spellbinding effect. The lighting is equally as effective and helps to maintain the illusion of this realistic yet equally fantastic world we find ourselves lost in.
What strikes me as I watch, however, is not only the clarity of vision and the celebration of theatre in this poetic form that the talented creatives behind the production obviously pertain and posses, but also just the sheer magic of Thomas’ words, his ability to keep readers and viewers alike enthralled and engaged, from the very first word to the very last one, despite there being arguably no radical action or climax which stands out and commands our attention. Instead it is the beautifully evocative retelling of a story.
Three well-deserved encores later and I’m already booking my tickets to see it again.
Sydney Theatre Company presents
UNDER MILK WOOD
by Dylan Thomas
Director Kip Williams
Venue: Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Dates: 22 May – 7 July 2012
Tickets: $45 – $90
Bookings: (02) 9250 1777 | sydneytheatre.com.au
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