Under Milk Wood
I have been intending to read Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood for years now, and so when the opportunity arose, I thought seeing the famous words performed would be a perfect way to hear it for the first time. And what a fabulous introduction!
Vanessa Hughes and Zoe Norton Lodge have created a fast-paced and haunting performance that leaves one hanging from every word. Norton Lodge provides all of the fifty-plus characters and voices, an amazing effort considering the smooth transition and impeccable impressions she brings to the piece. Ranging from sleazy draper to tortured school child, the characters show off Norton Lodge’s incredible acting talent as she manages to perfectly capture the varied quirks of the townspeople.
Under Milk Wood is set in a small town in Wales, where behind closed doors (and in front of them) the townsfolk cheat, gossip, love and dream of dead spouses. It spans twenty-four hours beginning in the middle of the night, where sinister things begin to happen.
The experimental media also gives a modern twist to the traditional set—the haunting images projected onto the background, combined with an unsettling soundtrack make the show dreamlike. With each character we meet, there is a distinct feeling of being sucked into their history.
Under Milk Wood had me completely hooked. It is a credit to Vanessa Hughes that her direction has managed to stray from the original format of the piece while keeping all the key elements so vivid and true. Whether you are familiar with the works of Dylan Thomas or not, Under Milk Wood should definitely not be missed at this year’s Fringe Festival.