Under Milk Wood

(2015) 87 mins

Director: Kevin Allen
Writers: Kevin Allen and Michael Breen, from the play by Dylan Thomas
Cinematography: Andy Hollis
Production Design: Marie Lanna
Music: Mark Thomas


Under Milk Wood is a surreal, dream-like experience. Adapted from Dylan Thomas’s celebrated radio play, it takes place in a small fishing village on the coast of Wales, where numerous residents are preoccupied with their dreams and fantasies. Importantly, the film doesn’t unfold in a conventional manner – it plays out as a succession of abstract sequences that jump from character to character. As you might expect, each sequence is accompanied by Thomas’s lyrical, evocative prose poetry, most of which is narrated to us by Rhys Ifans.

The Times: The rollicking, raunchy film of Under Milk Wood will not be to everyone’s taste, with its focus on the earthier elements of Dylan Thomas’s “play for voices”. Yet the concoction is so entertaining and peculiar that one feels the need to congratulate the director Kevin Allen and say: “Good for you, boyo.” How rarely does the cinema reverberate with meaty poetry like this?

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