The centenary of the birth of iconic Welsh poet Dylan Thomas will be celebrated with a year of events across Wales and the world, Business and Tourism Minister Edwina Hart has announced.
‘Dylan Thomas 100’ will be a year-long festival and line-up of events including theatre performances, visual arts, comedy, television, film and exhibitions, to be held across Wales and beyond, to celebrate the life and work of the poet, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government and other partners.
The settings that inspired Dylan the most will be the main focus for DT100, from his hometown of Swansea’ and Laugharne’s shores, to the Ceredigion countryside.
In-Wales events include a Wales-wide theatre production tour of ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’, new productions of some of Dylan’s great works including ‘Under Milk Wood’, a series of activities centred around the iconic Boathouse in Laugharne, including a literary public tour, and a major new exhibition at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
A year-long Swansea Festival of Music and Arts is planned, based on the poet’s works, which includes a world premiere by composer Karl Jenkins and Bangor University will stage a mini-festival of five concerts, demonstrating musical responses to the works of Dylan Thomas.
A ‘Dylan Odyssey’, organised by Literature Wales, will offer a series of literary public tours in Wales and the United States, ranging from the boutique to shabby chic. Participants will be able to actively experience for themselves the places and themes which inspired and forged Dylan’s creative writing.
Speaking at the closing of this year’s Dylan Thomas Festival, Business and Tourism Minister Edwina Hart said:
“Dylan Thomas is one of the literary giants of the last century. I am delighted to announce this extensive year-long programme of events to celebrate the life and work of this great poet, 100 years since his birth, here, in Swansea.
“These events will help contribute to a fitting legacy for Dylan’s life and work, but I also hope they will resurrect a passion for literature and inspire people of all ages to connect more actively with our rich cultural heritage. In the spirit of Dylan, it is an opportunity to showcase Wales as a land of artistic excellence to an international audience and raise further the iconic status of this great literary figure.”
Hannah Ellis, granddaughter of Dylan Thomas and patron of the Dylan Thomas 100 Festival said:
“By encouraging a wide range of high-profile, innovative and fun events, Dylan Thomas 100 will be a catalyst for revitalising interest in my grandfather’s work. I hope that it will introduce his wide range of writings to new audiences through new television and radio productions, film projects, book publications, academic initiatives, theatre productions, music and the arts, and a range of new internet-based initiatives.
“I hope you can join me, the Welsh Government and our partners, in making Dylan Thomas 100 a truly memorable celebration of unique talent.”
David Alston, Arts Director with the Arts Council of Wales, who with the Welsh Government and the support of Swansea , Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion Councils, are funding the Festival said,
“This Festival is being shaped from a wealth of creative ideas and responses to Dylan Thomas’s work from some of our leading cultural players. We are focussing on new and inspiring approaches to discovering and rediscovering the work and the places connected to that work. I think this will have appeal in Wales and draw people from beyond Wales to some fantastic experiences of the country and its culture.”