Following up on my recent article about the happy marriage of The Inimitable Boz and a very young Alan Bates (London by Dickens: This Revolution Was Televised – in 1958!), I am delighted to announce that the new DVD should be available in three to four weeks from Connecticut’s own Creative Arts Television.
But that’s not all. As if a chance to see an incredibly fresh and original take on Dickens were not enough, the DVD will contain a second title. It is not Dickens related. Nevertheless, it is absolutely spectacular and will make a delightful companion piece to London by Dickens.
What is it you ask? It is Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales read by Richard Burton.
Let me repeat that. Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales!
To invoke a familiar but perfectly accurate cliché, I would pay a lot of money to hear Richard Burton read from a phone book or the classified ad section of my local newspaper. But I would walk to the moon on my knees to hear him doing Dylan Thomas. And I would crawl to Pluto to hear him doing the only work worthy to be mentioned in the same breath as the immortal Carol!
Filmed while Burton was appearing on Broadway in Camelot, this fascinating production was broadcast on the legendary Camera Three program, appropriately enough on Christmas Eve, in 1961. It opens with a deeply moving meditation on Dylan Thomas’s life and then shifts to an equally moving reading of his best known work.
In addition to making several recordings of Dylan Thomas’s works, Richard Burton also appeared in a 1962 British television documentary about Thomas as well as the 1972 film adaptation of Under Milk Wood.
And for an interesting little bit of cosmic serendipity, it is worth noting that shortly before coming to New York for Camelot, Burton starred in the film version of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, the work that brought Alan Bates to Broadway and made him available to appear in London by Dickens.
So watch this web site for more details. And please support this exciting new DVD when it comes out.
Christmas will be about six months early this year!!!