90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
A Child's Christmas in Wales
(Photo: Flickr/Richard0)

Christmas in Wales (Photo: Flickr/Richard0)

Welsh poet Dylan Thomas was known for his wild carousing and his wild, wonderful use of language.

If you know “rage, rage against the dying of the light,” you know Dylan Thomas. Welsh actor Catherine Zeta Jones named her son for him. Actor Richard Burton was buried with his poems in hand.

One of his poems — a prose poem of vignette and memory — goes back to the sweet, humble, funny hours of his own childhood Christmas.

That work has leapt to the stage. We’ve got the actors in our studio.

This hour, On Point: Dylan Thomas and “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” on stage. 

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us in our studio are…

Burgess Clark, playwright and director of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” a joint production by the Boston Children’s Theatre and the Boston Playwright’s Theatre. He adapted the Dylan Thomas poem for the stage.   The Boston Globe called it “superlative.”

Stephen Libby, actor playing the adult Dylan Thomas.

Adam Freeman, actor playing the young Dylan Thomas.

Margaret Ann Brady, actor playing the mother.

Steven Gagliastro, actor playing the father.

Meagan Hawkes, actor playing Auntie Dosie.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Dan Jaffe

    I saw the show on Tuesday and was blown away. The production and the acting (all around, but especially Stephen, who BECAME Dylan Thomas) were terrific and the adaptation, while it might offend purists, was inspired.

    It sent me back to read the original source, which is more thin than most of us think. In re-reading it, it struck me that Thomas’s subject is nostalgia itself. Most of us are filled with longing for the warm, innocent, and protected days of childhood, however we actually lived it.

  • Timothy Murphy

    I want to hear more from the actor who played the young Dylan Thomas and his perspective on Thomas’ play about reminiscing and holiday experiences because he at the age so many of us have those extraordinary experiences.

  • Suzanne Dingley

    I was born just a few miles from Swansea but grew up in England. Even though I spent every school holiday with my Grandmother in Llanelli, I was never introduced to this book until a few years ago. I’ve been living in the US for 15 years and have very fond memories of my childhood in Wales. I was delighted to discover this book. My Kindergardener recently had to do a speech on family traditions, and I was very proud to have him say this was his favourite Christmas book. I read it every year to my two young boys with a Welsh accent (learned vicariously from my parents). The children roll their eyes and groan but I think they secretly love it. You have to read it with an accent, it’s the only way. The lyricism and lilt of the welsh accent perfectly suits the beautiful prose of the poem.

  • Larry Beasley

    For many years I have read my treasured copy on Christmas day. That last passage from the play was one of the most moving I have ever heard. Hopefully I will be able to find a DVD of the play.

  • Brett

    Thomas is one of my favorites. His musicality and sense of drama in his poems is unrivaled. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but it should be a treat.

    Merry Christmas!

  • maggy evans

    I’m sorry, but I so much prefer the original version … Dylan Thomas’ own words so rich and memory-filled, there is enough true material to work into a stage production. Why add dialog that was not there? To me this is NOT channeling the author. There was no need to add saccharin conversation with Auntie Dosie. And changing the last few lines that are so special and sweet? That is sad. How could any true fan of this story have to go back to the original version to see what words were Thomas’ and what were added?

    A Child’s Christmas in Wales is one of my favorite things. I suggest you listen (yes, just listen) to the highly entertaining reading done by the late, great Jerry Williams. Whatever you thought of that talk show host’s opinions, his reading (which he did anually) is music to my ears.

Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

Aug 29, 2014
Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

Sex, power and Beyoncé’s feminism. The message to young women.

Aug 29, 2014
Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 29, 2014
Friday, Aug 29, 2014

On hypothetical questions, Beyoncé and the unending flow of social media.

More »
Drew Bledsoe Is Scoring Touchdowns (In The Vineyards)
Thursday, Aug 28, 2014

Football great — and vineyard owner — Drew Bledsoe talks wine, onions and the weird way they intersect sometimes in Walla Walla, Washington.

More »
Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

More »
1 Comment