Under Milk Wood
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Cast & Creative
Reviews & Awards
DREAMING UNDER MILK WOOD
Perhaps a few unnecessary flourishes over-egged an already rich pudding in first-time director Elizabeth Ross’s otherwise excellent production of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood for Barnes & Richmond Operatic Society at Parkshot last week.
This essentially ensemble piece worked reasonably well played in the round and had splendidly versatile performances from the cast, most of them in several contrasting roles. But the method of presentation sometimes made for difficulties in focusing on some of its aspects.
Meirion Anderson and Joan Skingley as First and Second Voice linked the action with impressive clarity.
Anna Castle’s ecstatic Myfanwy Price, dressmaker, exchanged letters with her beloved Mog Edwards, draper, his high-flown phrases given a wonderful grandiloquent delivery by Paul Turnbull, both entirely satisfied to declare eternal devotion at a safe distance.
Dreaming under Milkwood too was the ever-willing Polly Garter with Julie Thomas singing sweetly of her many fine men and her only true love, as she scrubs the steps of the sternly disapproving Women’s Institute, while Jim Trimmer’s Rev Eli Jenkins praises the Lord ‘we are a musical nation’.
Bethany de Maio’s Rosie Probert made a seductive enchantress as she haunted the dreams of Captain Cat, given a resonating performance by Wesley Henderson Roe.
Although Clare Henderson Roe and Mandy Stenhouse made a very comic pair as Women’s Institute members, their Hinge and Bracket impersonation struck a slightly jarring note as a front-of-house prelude and coda to the production, as well as a full stop during the piece with ‘slides’ of the town. However, there were many fine characterisations from the large cast of adults and children who brought out the poetry and the humour of the text in this enjoyable production.