Theatre in Wales

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Adventures in the Skin Trade     

Adventures in the Skin Trade
This October, Cardiff-based theatre company Theatr Iolo will premiere a stage adaptation of Dylan Thomas’s ‘unfinished’ novel, Adventures in the Skin Trade, as part of the Dylan Thomas 100 Festival.

Adventures in the Skin Trade is a gloriously surreal coming-of-age story about Samuel Bennett, who leaves his home in South Wales to pursue a career in London. The production is specifically aimed at the 15+ age group and will be directed by Theatr Iolo’s Artistic Director Kevin Lewis, who comments:

“It’s completely unlike most of the other Dylan Thomas stuff. The first thing that really struck me is that it’s quite a teenage rebel thing – it felt like an episode of Skins. What attracted me to the story is that it’s about any young person wanting to go to a big, sometimes dangerous city and be reckless and have sex for the first time and fall in love and ultimately, find their own way in the world. Human beings haven’t changed that much in that respect!

It’s not a story with a massive moral message, such as ‘don’t take drugs’. I’m not interested in doing a piece like that. The audience can make up its own mind about the story. What I do hope is that our younger audiences, who might not know much about Dylan Thomas or be that interested in him, will see our production of Adventures in the Skin Trade and then want to find out more about his work, the themes of which are pretty timeless and universal.”

Published posthumously in 1955, Adventures in the Skin Trade has semi-autobiographical themes and comprises three short stories which were initially intended to be the opening chapters of a novel. The story has been ‘finished’ and adapted for the stage by former Hollyoaks writer Lucy Gough, who has written extensively for TV, radio, film and the stage. Lucy comments:

“Adapting Adventures in the Skin Trade for the stage has been a wonderfully wild, funny and surreal journey into the unknown. The novel is at the same time both fiercely crazy and yet also sensitively observant of a teenage boy’s interior world and rite of passage.”

Theatr Iolo will be running an education programme alongside the production which will see performance poet Polarbear working with young people to write their own poetry and prose responding to the theme of being a teenager.

The production will also be touring to two of Australia’s most prestigious venues, the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Arts Centre, in 2015, as part of the British Council Wales’s ‘Starless and Bible-Black’ programme, that takes its inspiration from the poet’s work.

Theatr Iolo’s Producer John Carey Williams comments:

“We’re honoured to be the first Welsh theatre company invited to the Opera House and the Arts Centre, and delighted to be able to fly the flag for Wales and Welsh theatre across the world. It is with a spirit of adventure that we look forward to sharing this gloriously comic play that deals with the universal concerns of teenagers the world over and beginning a long-term connection with Australia.“

Adventures in the Skin Trade tours Wales throughout October – for full details and booking information, visit www.theatriolo.com
 
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Monday, September 15, 2014back

 

 

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