Description: World premiere of an unfilmed screenplay by Dylan Thomas, newly adapted for radio for the centenary of his birth.
Wiltshire arrives on an unnamed Pacific island hoping to trade in copra. But an encounter with rival trader Case leads to a macabre wedding. Shunned by the locals, Wiltshire sets out to uncover the secret behind Case’s mysterious hold over the islanders, and the truth in the tales of the singing devils living deep in the bush.
Dylan Thomas adapted the short story of the same title by Robert Louis Stevenson to create this screenplay but it was never filmed, despite interest from Richard Burton. So this radio adaptation for the centenary of his birth is the world premiere of a work that blends some of the wordplay of Under Milk Wood with the brooding mystery of Heart of Darkness.
Alison Hindell has previously directed for Radio 4 both Under Milk Wood (which combined the archive recording of Burton as First Voice with a new cast) and The Art of Conversation, another Thomas premiere, being a previously unbroadcast radio script written during the war.
Alison came across The Beach of Falesá when her stepdaughter moved into a new house in Sydney and found the published edition of the text amongst the remnants left behind by the previous owner.
Narrator ….. Matthew Rhys
Wiltshire ….. Matthew Gravelle
Case ….. Nicky Henson
Uma ….. Fiona Marr
Jenkins / Captain ….. Simon Armstrong
Randall ….. Stephen Critchlow
Little Jack ….. Steve Toussaint
Original music composed by Roger Goula
Sound, Nigel Lewis
Adapted for radio and directed by Alison Hindell
A BBC Cymru Wales production.
A vile yet compelling look at the cruelty of colonialism written by Stevenson long before Conrad penned The Heart of Darkness and beautifully brought to lyrical life by Thomas.
Poor Father Galoshes
Who never washes
What a shame the film never made it into being; I heard the duo of Burton and Thomas so clear in this disconcerting Stevenson story. Highly recommended and not to be missed.