So it has been a while since I saw “Do not go Gentle”, the poetic take on the life of Dylan Thomas, the famous Welsh wordsmith who got so famous that they “loved me to death in New York”. But I still remember how absolutely brilliant this show was in its minimalistic way: Geraint Wyn Davies (who could read the phonebook out loud and I still would fly in from anywhere in the world to hear him do it) transformed himself on a stark stage into the great Welsh Poet who is waiting in purgatory – waiting for the big guns up there to decide if he was worth to join them. “A Shakespeare, he wrote it all. I bet he’s already up there sitting next to God.”
Thomas’ poetry and his short stories make for a terrific evening. But it is Wyn Davies’ incredible voice that brings Dylan Thomas to passionate and vivid life. You laugh a little at the antics of little Dylan throwing snowballs in his neighbour’s window, but Wyn Davies gets most gripping when reciting the most famous of Thomas’ works: Do not go gentle into that good night… I had tears in my eyes every time I saw the play.
A play that was written and directed by the late Leon Pownall and Geraint Wyn Davies. Wyn Davies who was good friends with Pownall recalls the promise he gave Leon: to bring the play to Broadway. He did – the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row at 410 West 42nd Street served as an intimate but rather icey venue – and turned it into a terrific success.
And what’s best: Geraint Wyn Davies will revive the play once again this summer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada. I already got my tickets!