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"Under Milk Wood" in Dundalk

category louth | arts and media | opinion/analysis author Monday December 15, 2003 17:25author by Sean Cruddenauthor email sean.crudden at iol dot ieauthor address Jenkinstown, Dundalk.author phone 042 93 71310 Report this post to the editors

Opening Production in Tain Theatre

Dylan Thomas's Wales was brought to life as the dead were successfully raised in last night's performance of his classic on the newly created stage in Dundalk Town Hall.

Last night (Sunday 14 December 2003) was the final "night" of Under Milk Wood which had been running since Wednesday 10 December in The Tain Theatre which is part of the newly-refurbished Town Hall, Dundalk. The production was directed by Barry Cassin and designed by Tomas MacAnna and the players of "Dun Dealgan Theatre" came from not only Dundalk but from as far away as Ardee and Carlingford - a total of 48 actors in all.

The characterisation all round was wonderful - springing no doubt from extrordinarily intelligent casting. The children gave no ground to their elders and the standard of ensemble they and their elders achieved was a joy to behold.

The vocal demands of the text were more than adequately dealt with and the singing (where it occurred) was true and arresting.

The narrator adopted a serious mien but had presence and somehow conveyed a creator's love as he described the Town and its denizens. He never allowed the forward movement of the production to flag.

It should be noted that there was assured and undeniable glamour where required from some of the women in the cast and judging from the reaction of the many women in the audience the same could be justly said of the men.

After the cast had taken a bow Pearce O'Hanrahan a member of the Town Council appeared on the stage. Initially I was irritated by the fact that he quickly dispelled the magic atmosphere of the production. As Shakespeare wrote, "The Play's the thing." However on second thoughts it was the right thing to do if only to present (as he did) a bouquet of flowers to Kitty McDermott who is Dundalk's oldest and most respected thesbian and who soldiered gallantly through this production and the many "curtain calls." His presence also conveyed the interest of the City Fathers in drama.

Barry Cassin, the director, did not appear on stage but I guess the fingerprints of his unseen hand were all over this production.

author by Pedantpublication date Mon Dec 15, 2003 18:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What's one of those then? Does this presuppose the sexuality of female actresses?

author by :-)publication date Mon Dec 15, 2003 18:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

and bring me to the isle
of Thesbos.

author by Sean Cruddenpublication date Mon Dec 15, 2003 20:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry. That's the problem with writing too fast and without the prior help of an editor. It wasn't a typing error - just plain bad spelling. It should have been "thespian."

author by Maratistpublication date Mon Dec 15, 2003 22:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice report Sean, indymedia could do with more of this, oh and before someone posts 'well why don't you write it then' - I havn't claimed to know anything about theatre, arts or nothing - I'm just commending someone!

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