ALL Saints’ College has scored a major coup after securing Olivier Award-winning actor Guy Masterson – the great-nephew of Richard Burton – as artist-in-residence this February.
As part of his residency, he will be doing a one-off solo performance of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood on February 26.
Using nothing but a wooden chair, dark glasses, apposite lighting and a haunting soundscape, Masterson performs the entire work himself – 69 characters featuring men, women and children.
Masterson is a British actor, director, producer and writer who spent time in Hollywood in the late ’80s before returning to the UK and becoming something of a legend at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Over 21 consecutive seasons, his company Theatre Tours International has become Edinburgh Fringe’s most highly-awarded and nominated independent theatre producer, which has included an Olivier Award for best entertainment.
Under Milk Wood is Dylan Thomas’ most famous and enduring work and has been translated into more than 50 languages.
Originally a 1954 radio drama starring Richard Burton, it was later adapted for the stage and explores the intimate dreams and innermost desires of the inhabitants of Llareggub, a small fictional sea-town in Wales.
It is believed Thomas wrote Under Milk Wood as a reaction to the bombing of Hiroshima to show beauty and innocence still existed in the world.
All Saints' College head of the arts Stephen Roberts said the school offered Masterson the residency after noting he was performing at the Adelaide Festival in 2016.
“There were a number of stars that aligned,” he said. “Our principal had previous contact with Guy while she was in Adelaide at Seymour College and, as a fellow Welsh man, Guy and I seemed to hit it off.
“I was especially interested to find out his uncle was none other than the late, great Richard Burton.
“When we started to fit together a program it seemed perfect that he could offer a solo show of Under Milk Wood, which is synonymous with Richard Burton.
“I had seen some of Guy’s previous work while I was living in the UK – namely, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starring Christian Slater and his award-winning Edinburgh Festival show The Odd Couple with Bill Bailey and Alan Davies.”
When Masterson’s name was mentioned as a possible candidate to be an artist-in-residence at All Saints’ College, Roberts jumped at the chance.
“At the college, we are committed to providing our community with opportunities and to see Guy perform would be an opportunity quite unique to the people of Perth, although it’s not first time he’s performed here,” he said.
“As a school, I was looking for an artist to work specifically with students on the art of creating and performing original solo works.
“Guy will be performing a solo work that is wonderful for students, highlighting examples of the skills and requirements of a solo artist.”
Under Milk Wood plays at the All Saints' College Centre for Performing Arts at 7pm February 26 – tickets are $33, $23 concession. Book at www.allsaints.wa.edu.au.
All Saints' College is on Ewing Avenue, Bull Creek.
Olivier Award-winning actor Guy Masterson is doing a one-off performance of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood at All Saints’ College.