August 10, 2009

Uplands getting down for Dylan Thomas

The news from Wales--how often does a Chicago theatre company give you that?

Press Release for Dylan Thomas' 95th birthday in his hometown of Swansea:

"Dylan Down The Ups is the title of a brand new series of events to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the birth of Dylan Thomas in his home village of Uplands in Swansea on 27th October 2009.

A year ago Anne and Geoff Haden celebrated the opening of the fully restored birthplace of Dylan Thomas at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive with an Edwardian afternoon tea for a hundred people on what would have been the 94th birthday of the most well known man of words of the 20th century.

From that successful event they have moved to team up with residents and traders of the village of Uplands to celebrate his 95th birthday with a series of events planned throughout the day to give the area a party atmosphere despite it being in October.

Says Anne Haden “Swansea is made up of villages and this is Dylan’s – after all it was the place where he lived for over half his life and so much of his work was inspired by the area – this is the least that we can do for him.

“Dylan’s short stories are typically Welsh and full of humour while his poems are deep. The aim is to bring Dylan back to street level through fun, friendliness and accessibility.

“The area still has its Victorian and Edwardian character and what we are aiming to do is make the village the centrepiece of the celebrations with events going on in the street and many of the shops, cafes and the pub.

“People will be able to follow in Dylan’s footsteps and learn about the shops that were in the Uplands in his day when it was a more select shopping area with its own identity

“We want to involve all the community and there will be events for children and adults and because it will be during the October half term should attract a lot of interest from out side Wales.

Geoff Haden says that the plans are in an early stage but confirmed that “There will be a Dylan Look Alike Competition, short story and art competitions and shops will be encouraged to compete in the best dressed window award.

“We are in advanced discussions to premiere in Wales a new play about Dylan – Poem in October – by the writer Robert Forrest written especially for the leading Scottish actor Finlay Welsh.

“The plans have received enthusiastic support from local traders and we hope that this will develop into a week long event by the time that we celebrate the Centenary of Dylan’s birth in 2014.”

Nigel Clatworthy from The Chattery has already given his support to the birthday plans and says “Anne has booked our venue for the poet Peter Thabit Jones and musician Terry Clarke for an evening of Dylan’s work and some new and original material from both performers – it’s something that we are really looking forward to.”

Want to get involved? Telephone 0781 775 3376 or check "

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