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Performance of Under Milk Wood, September 2016

On September 24 2016 the DTSA put on a single performance of Under Milk Wood at the Mosman Club.  The play-for-voices was performed as Dylan Thomas intended -  a staged reading with actors at microphones reading the parts of the seventy odd (in both senses) denizens of the imaginary village of Llareggub in West Wales. The tyranny of distance meant that a full practice of the complete cast was possible only on the morning of the public performance; prior to that, Clive had gone over individual parts with separate actors or with a larger group on one occasion.
At Clive & Helen's house after the main practice
At Clive & Helen's house after the main practice
Given the limited preparation the show on 24 September was a remarkable success.  The fact that most of the cast was born in Wales gave not only the right accents but the right timbres of voice to suit the dialogue; the wonderfully eccentric and larger-than-life characters of Llareggub were carefully differentiated from one another, and there was some real musicality in the production.  There is a more thorough review of the performance in the November edition of our e-magazine.  Here we will include only the fine pictures taken by DTSA member David Kelly.
The cast are a study in concentration at this point in the play
The cast are a study in concentration at this point in the play
Eirwen in sensitive vein
Eirwen in sensitive vein
Marisa bringing out the humour in her roles
Marisa bringing out the humour in her roles
Viv brings every character to life
Viv brings every character to life
Olwen at full throttle
Olwen at full throttle
The cast taking the applause of the audience at the end of the show
The cast taking the applause of the audience at the end of the show


Mountain Christmas, July 2016

Every second year, when the year is an even number,  we usually hold a Dylan Mountain Christmas luncheon in July.  2016 was the third occasion for us to hold it at the Grand View Hotel, Wentworth Falls, in the hope of coinciding with an unlikely cold snap and at least a few snowflakes.  
(clockwise from far left): Dan, Sharyn, Mike, Jenny, Annie, Myfanwy, Eirwen, Carole and Griff
(clockwise from far left): Dan, Sharyn, Mike, Jenny, Annie, Myfanwy, Eirwen, Carole and Griff
We didn't get as many diners as on the two previous occasions, but the event was every bit as successful, with the excellent Christmas lunch and the festive atmosphere appreciated by all the guests.
Central table, clockwise from left: Bill, Rob, Jane, Kay, Noel, Helen, Lorraine, Jacqueline
Central table, clockwise from left: Bill, Rob, Jane, Kay, Noel, Helen, Lorraine, Jacqueline
Some travelled by train to the nearby station while others drove directly to the hotel and many of us were able to enjoy a coffee in the sunny, well-furnished lounge room before the meal.
Clive reciting A Child's Christmas in Wales
Clive reciting A Child's Christmas in Wales
Once again, the quality of the meal met or surpassed everyon's expectations.  Afterwards, Clive recited A Child's Christmas in Wales followed by some Christmas thoughts of Gwyn Thomas and a winter poem of Vernon Watkins.  Dan Lewis read Tangmalangaloo to provide an Australian Christmas flavour.
Dan reading Tangmalangaloo
Dan reading Tangmalangaloo
In 2017 we will once again have The Charabanc Outing at a similar time of year, with the Mountain Christmas planned to return in 2018.


2016 Dylan Day Luncheon


At the end of the centenary celebrations in 2014 a decision was made in Swansea to establish a 'Dylan Thomas Day' round the world on May 14 each year.  No doubt the tourist agenda was an important factor in setting this date, but the official rationale was to commemorate the first stage performance of Under Milk Wood in New York on that date in 1953.  Our DTSA committee has decided to amend the date slightly: when May 14 falls on a weekend we will use the exact date; otherwise we will use the nearest weekend day available.
Members relax over lunch before the Under Milk Wood recordings on Dylan Day in the City Centre
Members relax over lunch before the Under Milk Wood recordings on Dylan Day in the City Centre
In 2016 we held a lunch at the City of Sydney RSL Club followed by excerpts of various recordings of Under Milk Wood.  The first recording, of course, was of the first performance itself, with Dylan in the role of First Voice and the Rev Eli Jenkins.  We also used segments of the Richard Burton 1954 version and the George Martin/Anthony Hopkins CD, and snippets from our DTSA recordings.  Members expressed their opinion that our efforts stood up well against the more famous versions.
 Clive drinks a toast to Dylan on Dylan Day
Clive drinks a toast to Dylan on Dylan Day


THE LEGEND & THE POET AFTERNOON, 10 APRIL 2016

The topic for the 2016 Legend & Poet afternoon was 'Dylan the Socialist' - a harder topic to research than usual both in terms of Dylan's life and writings and in terms of short readings from other authors' poetry and prose.  Nevertheless, we had a record audience of more than the official attendance capacity at the Julian Ashton Art Hut at Georges Heights, Mosman, and some people applied for entry too late to be accepted.
 Host Paul Delprat rests on his shooting stick while other members enjoy the pleasant April sunshine at Georges Heights
Host Paul Delprat rests on his shooting stick while other members enjoy the pleasant April sunshine at Georges Heights
Helen Woosnam was the narrator as usual, with Clive and Greg Bell the two main readers.  Barry and Di Strong, Meriel Evans and host Paul Delprat were the other performers.  Clive wrote the script and program and prepared the readings.  There were three recordings of Dylan reading poetry,  and excerpts from his letters, film scripts and short stories.  Other writers represented included Shelley, Housman, Morris, Hood, Pope, Lawson, Lawrence, MacNeice, Gwyn Thomas and modern Sydney poet Jennifer Maiden.
Clive chats to guests as they fill the Art Hut
Clive chats to guests as they fill the Art Hut
Though this was a serious topic, there was a reasonable helping of humour and plenty of passion.  There was never any danger of the good food and wine lulling audience members into a dose.  Helen organised the food, helped mainly by Kay and Jacqueline. Clive organised the wine and Noel acted as barman.  Kath produced a special cake to help Kay celebrate her birthday.
Kay cutting her birthday cake during the interval - and there's still some food left!
Kay cutting her birthday cake during the interval - and there's still some food left!
Clive in full spate as Helen looks on
Clive in full spate as Helen looks on
 A most artistic setting for a literary afternoon - the Julian Ashton School of Art heritage hut at Georges Heights
A most artistic setting for a literary afternoon - the Julian Ashton School of Art heritage hut at Georges Heights



 DTSA LUNCH AND AGM 13 FEBRUARY 2016 

The 2016 AGM and lunch were held in the Villaggio restaurant at the City of Sydney RSL Club in George St.  Numbers were down on the past two years but the 37 members who attended seemed to enjoy the new venue, the food and the meeting itself.
The main table from one end ...
The main table from one end ...
                              ... and from the other
... and from the other
At the AGM, business was conducted swiftly and efficiently.  The new committee was elected very quickly, as follows:
                             President  -  Clive Woosnam
                              Vice-pres  -  Emyr Evans
                             Secretary  -  Helen Woosnam
                             Treasurer  -  Kay Hardman
Other committee members:
                             Malcolm Brown
                             Noel Hardman
                             Jane Horlin
                             Robert Horlin
                             Howard Houliston
                             Pamela Houliston
                             Bill King
                             Jacqueline King
                             Robert Meredith
                             Lorraine Ryan
                             Annie Schlebaum
Clive reads Michael Sheen's essay
Clive reads Michael Sheen's essay
We are losing Louis & Wendy as they move north to Uralla
We are losing Louis & Wendy as they move north to Uralla
After the meeting Clive played a CD of Gwen Watkins looking back on her time in Bletchley Park and likening Dylan to Alan Turing.  Clive then read an essay by Michael Sheen on Dylan and closed by talking about the Poetry Association's huge wall hanging of 'In My Craft or Sullen Art', before reciting the poem itself.
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