March 13, 2009 |
"The Edge of Love" has, as they say, all the tools, all the elements that usually make for success. It ought to be coaxing superlatives from all and sundry, but instead it leaves a bitter, unsatisfying aftertaste that lingers in the mind. Certainly the stars seemed aligned for "Edge" to turn into a quality British production. Its quartet of actors -- Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys -- are gifted and almost criminally attractive.
January 2, 2005
Regarding "Choirs That Move a Nation" [Dec. 19]: I am not a native of Swansea, Wales, having been brought up in the north of England on the edge of an industrial belt that is similar to South Wales. These both suffered from the legacy of the Industrial Revolution and may find echoes in Pittsburgh, Detroit or West Virginia. However, Swansea is much more than the squalid downtown you portray. People tend to forget that the Mumbles and other holiday areas are also part of the city and county.
July 16, 2004 |
Shakespeare has traditionally fared well at the outdoor Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, frequently earning kudos for artistic director Ellen Geer and her acting ensembles. "Under Milk Wood" by Dylan Thomas -- Shakespeare's lyrical, 20th century kindred spirit -- would seem a natural, especially beneath a night sky on a rough-planked stage that merges into tangled brush and arching oak trees.
July 5, 2004 |
At the time of his death in 1953, Dylan Thomas seemed the epitome of everything expected of a poet: brilliant, impulsive, unconventional and reckless; a prodigious drinker, an incorrigible skirt-chaser, a marvelous storyteller and a spellbinding reader of his own and other people's verse. Even Philip Larkin, hardly a kindred spirit poetically or politically, felt a keen sense of loss: "I can't believe that D.T. is truly dead. It seems absurd," he wrote to a friend.
December 15, 1997 |
For Gary Bell, who stars in the Laguna Playhouse production of "A Child's Christmas in Wales," the key to his role as Dylan Thomas has always been the story's evocative prose. "It reads like a poem even though it's not," Bell says of the original tale, first published in 1945 and adapted for the stage by Adrian Mitchell and Jeremy Brooks in 1982. "It's the way the images tumble over each other," adds the actor, who's something of an expert on Thomas, having played the role every year since 1986.
August 3, 1997 |
Dylan Thomas, the flamboyant poet and playwright who was born and raised here, called it "an ugly, lovely town." And so it was: an ugly port city of sprawling, squalid brown dockyards, a lovely city ringed with hills, wrapped around a sparkling blue-gray bay. The dockyards are gone now. Where once "the smoke of the tinplate stacks" fouled the air and seared the lungs, a bustling marina stands, filled with sidewalk cafes and wine bars.