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Here, in the masterpiece completed just before his death in 1953, Dylan Thomas gave fullest expression to his sense of the magnificent flavor and variety of life. A moving and hilarious account of a spring day in a small Welsh coast town, Under Milk Wood begins with dreams and ghosts before dawn, moves through the brilliant, noisy day of the townspeople and closes as the "rain of dusk brings on the bawdy night." As Randall Jarrell wrote: "It would be hard for any work of art to communicate more directly and funnily and lovingly what it is like to be alive." Dylan Thomas called it "a play for voices," and although it was commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation it had its first performances in New York, a series of try-outs in "concert" form, with Thomas directing and reading several parts. Enthusiastic audiences agreed with the critics, who called it "probably the richest and certainly the earthiest theatre experience of the season" (Saturday Review) and "a dazzling combination of poetic fireworks and music-hall humor" (N. Y. Times). When it was finally broadcast on the BBC Third Programme, The New Statesman and Nation wrote: "It is lyrical, impassioned and funny, an Our Town given universality: by comparison with anything broadcast for a long time, it exploded on the air like a bomb––but a life-giving bomb."

Under Milk Wood

Theater by Dylan Thomas

published June 1st, 1954