Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 19 April 2015

BBC film charts poet's final days

Griff Rhys Jones will produce A Poet In New York about Dylan Thomas
Griff Rhys Jones will produce A Poet In New York about Dylan Thomas

Poet Dylan Thomas's final fatal visit to New York is to be dramatised in a new BBC film, scripted by acclaimed screenwriter Andrew Davies.

The production, A Poet In New York, will be broadcast next year to tie in with the centenary of the birth of Thomas, best known for his work Under Milk Wood. Casting for the film is yet to be finalised, but the funnyman and broadcaster Griff Rhys Jones will be executive producer.

The Welsh writer died in Greenwich in 1953 - at the age of 39 - after heading to New York en route to Hollywood to work on an opera with Stravinsky.

Hard-drinking Thomas had already become a much-loved figure in the US thanks to three earlier visits and was in New York to take part in a production of Under Milk Wood.

Davies - who worked on ITV's recent Mr Selfridge, along with hits such as the BBC adaptation of Pride And Prejudice - said: "It's been such a privilege and a pleasure to work on this film.

"Dylan Thomas was a huge inspiration to me as I was growing up in a very similar environment to his in South Wales.

"Although the script centres on his last days in New York, and the circumstances of his tragically early death, I want above all to celebrate his extraordinary, charismatic personality, his unforgettable poetry, and his passionate and stormy relationship with his wife Caitlin."

Rhys Jones said the script "does full justice to Dylan and his legacy".

The film - to be screened by BBC2 and BBC1 Wales - will be shot in New York, Cardiff and Laugharne, the town where Thomas settled.

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