The Great Dylan Thomas

Tom Hollander as Dylan Thomas in the recent television play A Poet in New York, portrayed the seeds of Dylan’s genius in the scenes at home with his mum and dad in Cwmdonkin Drive.  Young and fresh and vigorous.  Later with his own family in Laugharne, the magical seaside house where he wrote so much of his work, we saw his exultant happiness, tinged with the harness of practical living.  Tom Hollander captured the way Dylan wrote by speaking the words out loud before writing them down.  Spoken music.   Now on the Radio 4 Extra programme, “Quite Early One Morning” it’s such a joy to hear the real Dylan Thomas’s formidable rendition of his poetry.  Strong and clear. Not a vestige of a John Major drone. He uses his prodigious RP English accent to read words written with the musical Welsh rhythm lifting and thrusting forward.   The programme is a celebration of his genius.  What a tragedy that he died so young.  Not from drink as in A Poet in New York but from a fatal injection of morphine given when he already had pneumonia.  Thank you Tom Hollander for giving us such a fine performance as Dylan Thomas.  There were many layers of Dylan’s character left untouched in  A Poet in New York – script by Andrew Davies – but it was the dramatic cataclysmic end of Dylan’s life.  You can access Dylan speaking through the British Library site. The programmes celebrating Dylan Thomas are being aired at the moment on BBC Radio 4 Extra.  One more reason for paying the license fee  – it’s hard to imagine what adverts they’d play on Radio 4 Extra?  Kindles? Innocent smoothies?…well…perhaps…but that’s another blog.

Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas


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