Arts Centre look back: Dylan Thomas and Delight

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Dylan Thomas (By Sarah Thornhill)

THE CLOWN in the Moon was an extremely moving play. It is a biographic play of the life of Dylan Thomas. The play was performed by one man and the setting was fairly basic. To me, this made his performance a lot more realistic and personal. The performance switched between him reading his own poetry on the radio, and telling tales of his life at that time. For instance, he spoke on the radio of when he first started writing and then he would get off his radio broadcasting desk and talk of times of when he was a child and then what happened after he left home, why he left home and how it made him feel.

Dylan Thomas was a complicated man. He was a raging alcoholic, which led to the breakdown of his marriage; that and the fact he was addicted to sex and could not keep his eyes and hands to himself. He was lazy; incredibly patriotic to his homeland; cowardly; extremely bitter towards the London and upper class and extremely homesick. He pined for the days where his life was simpler. When it did not matter whether or not he was broke. He longed for people to know his name, and his work gained proper recognition a little too late.

Despite this, he persevered to try to write something. Writers block seemed to hit him whenever he most needed to write for an income. For example, when his wife left him and took his children or when he was recruited to write for the war effort. He didn’t believe in some of the things he was writing for propaganda, and especially did not believe in their power to actually help win the war.

Beneath all of his wise cracks and his humorous façade, at the heart of Dylan lies a broken man. He just wants to be loved, and only by one person. He wishes he could provide for her. He wishes he was healthier. He wishes his childhood was still the days he was living in now.

The play is based on his poem called Clown in the Moon. This poem was written by the poet at the tender age of fourteen. In the play he says that he did not understand the nature of the poem until he was a man. He didn’t realise why people did not come home from the front. He did not understand some realistic concepts of life, and personally, I don’t think he had much of a grip on reality in his adulthood. However, he ends the play by reciting the poem Do Not Walk Gently into the Night, when it is obvious that he is dead. He dies a very misunderstood and sad man. This play brings out a mixture of complex emotions and is very likely to bring a tear to your eye.

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Wales One World Festival: Delight (By Rhian Hughes)

DELIGHT, a film by Gareth Jones, is set in the beautiful landscape of West Wales. Although the scenery may be beautiful, the film is far from it. Delight is about a war photographer (Echo) who goes in search for her one true love (Joe), who is residing in West Wales after retiring. When she reaches her destination she finds out that Joe has killed himself, and isn’t quite sure what to do. She finds similarities in his son, she begins the uncomfortable love affair with him.

The director is obviously touching on the psychological after effects of war, this is shown through the usage of the camera, as Echo uses the camera to show what she see’s in her point of view. This gives the audience a glimpse of her actions and emotions. The image created may sometimes be blurred and other times may feel sad or happy. These photos lead the audience through Echo’s’ thoughts and feelings.

The effect of war is also shown through the flashbacks of where Echo used to be, and what her and Joe had to witness as a photographer. The director decided to use clips of them sometimes laughing, to signify their love and other times as sad, lost kids to juxtapose this. The use of sound effects can also be noted, with for example the sounds of guns and bombs to show the suffering and pain that was caused during the war. The effect of flashbacks allows the audience for a split second to embrace war, but in a way that no A- List movie would ever try. The real effects of war are shown; the kids that lost their parents, the families separated by spilled blood and grief and the true loves that are damned to be alone.

This film truly does open the audience eye’s to not only war, but the effects that war can bring to someone that simply just took photos. It also allows the audience to imagine that photographers see a lot more than just what’s on the other side of the lens. A powerful film that will remind one person that war is not just a tragedy that happens, but one that sticks with us forever.