"A POET IN NEW YORK" PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29 ON BBC AMERICA
The final days of Dylan Thomas' tragic life are examined in a film by acclaimed screenwriter Andrew Davies,
starring Tom Hollander
"Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
A life filled with passion, fame and the harsh realities of addiction is the story behind Dylan Thomas (Tom Hollander, Rev., In The Loop), one of the most renowned poets the world has ever seen. The creator of some of the most memorable lines in the English language, his brilliance, popularity and electrifying tours made him a much-loved celebrity in the US. But his failing marriage, heightened fame and wild, hard-drinking lifestyle led to his untimely death in 1953 at the age of just 39. Marking the centenary of his birth, A Poet in New York, written by acclaimed screenwriter Andrew Davies (Little Dorrit, Bridget Jones Diary, House of Cards), explores the adored poet's final days in New York City. A Poet in New York premieres Wednesday, October 29, at 8:00pm ET as part of BBC AMERICA's Dramaville.
"Thomas was a great poet whose blazing life and premature death left both a considerable poetic legacy and an enduring reputation for bad behavior," said Tom Hollander. "He was also quite fat. Playing him was both a wonderful acting challenge and a great opportunity to eat things that I would normally have to avoid."
Set in New York City and Laugharne in Wales, A Poet in New York begins with Dylan (Tom Hollander) arriving in New York on his fourth and fatal visit to rehearse, write and party. He is on his way to Hollywood to write an opera with famous composer Igor Stravinsky. But, before Dylan heads west, he has to earn enough to fund the trip, so he fulfills a commitment to take part in a production of the recently completed Under Milk Wood at the prestigious Poetry Centre in Manhattan. What might have been a triumphant new departure in his career and life, turns instead into a requiem for a man whose life has spiraled out of control.
With his marriage to the love of his life, Caitlin (Essie Davis, The Slap, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries), in shambles, illness plaguing him, no money, and wholly unhappy with his life, he spends countless hours partying hard, drunk and disillusioned. His life then comes to a premature end on a smog-ridden November day in New York's Greenwich Village, at the young age of 39.
Moving between his gritty present in New York and beautiful backdrops of the poet's past life in his hometown of Laugharne, the film, directed by Asiling Walsh (Room at the Top), explores how Dylan's experiences made his life virtually untenable and examines how his destructive personality played into his own demise.
A Poet in New York is a Modern Television production for BBC Cymru Wales. It is produced by Ruth Caleb and executive produced by Griff Rhys Jones.
CAST CREDITS AND PRODUCTION CREDITS
Dylan Thomas Tom Hollander (Rev., In The Loop)
Caitlin Thomas Essie Davis (The Slap, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries)
John Malcolm Brinnin Ewen Bremner (Great Expectations, Trainspotting)
Liz Reitell Phoebe Fox (The Musketeers, Switch)
Writer Andrew Davies (Little Dorrit, Bridget Jones Diary, House of Cards)
Director Aisling Walsh (Room at the Top, Loving Miss Hatto)
Producer Ruth Caleb (A Short Stay in Switzerland, Born Equal)
Executive Producer Griff Rhys Jones (Smith and Jones, Greatest Cities of the World)
A Poet in New York is a Modern Television production for BBC Cymru Wales.
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