In The Dark presents Under Milk Wood (1954)

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Enjoy this superb archival recording, followed by a discussion about its continuing relevance and significance

In the Dark presents the last in a series of five listening events at which some of the most important, innovative and exciting BBC Radio feature programmes of the mid-20th century may be heard. Enjoy these superb archival recordings in a shared space, leading to some discussion about their continuing relevance and significance for a contemporary audience. 

The Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) conceived of Under Milk Wood, which he subtitled A Play for Voices, as a piece for performance on radio, although it has also had a vigorous performance life on stage, television and film. In this centenary year of his birth, the play has been much revived. The very first radio production of Under Milk Wood (1954) was an immediate success, winning the Prix Italia, as well as a rapturous reception both in the press and amongst the 244 listeners individually surveyed by the BBC. Douglas Cleverdon, who had nurtured it during its long gestation, produced it for the Features Department with an all-Welsh cast and it was broadcast on the Third Programme on 25 January 1954. This 94-minute version was repeated several times, and the Home Service broadcast a shortened version later in the same year. 60-minute versions were made for overseas networks and the play was translated into at least eight languages for radio productions across Europe and beyond.

This event takes place in the Foyle Suite, at the British Library Centre for Conservation. Doors open at 17.00 for a prompt start at 17.15.

Presented by In the Dark, in collaboration with the British Library, the Centre for Media History at Bournemouth University and the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) at the University of Westminster


Name: In The Dark presents Under Milk Wood (1954)
Where: Foyle Visitor and Learning Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546