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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Festival marks Dylan's death
Dylan Thomas
Thomas did much of his writing in his shed
Youth theatre groups are being invited to take part in a festival to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dylan Thomas' death.

The event, planned by Carmarthenshire Council, is to coincide with the anniversary in November.

A series of short productions which have a link with Thomas and his literature will be staged at a number of venues across the county.

Dylan Thomas - Wales' most famous literary export - died in 1953 in New York in the middle of a reading tour.

His status in the US and Japan remain at an almost iconic level, and has been admired by two US presidents - Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

The festival, entitled Project Llais, is set to take place over two weekends just miles from his birthplace in Swansea.

Arts development officer Marion Morris said: "We are making arrangements for a weekend of youth theatre activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Dylan Thomas.

"Project Llais - Llwyfan I Actorian Ifanc y Sir (a stage for the county's young actors), is hoping to bring together youth theatre groups from all over the county to perform side by side at various venues in the county during November.

Richard Burton
Richard Burton as the Narrator in Under Milk Wood
"Grant applications are being made to help stage short productions that are linked in any way with the Laugharne poet, and the more young people taking part the merrier."

Thomas, who is best known for his play for voices Under Milk Wood, died at the age of 39.

He spent much of his time writing in the village of Laugharne, which is believed to be the setting for Under Milk Wood.

His home in the Boathouse and the shed overlooking the estuary where he did much of his writing have already had a face life ahead of the forthcoming celebrations.

The council, the Welsh Tourist Board and Cadw have spent over 100,000 on both projects.

The festival will form part of a year of celebrations which include talks and poetry readings, and tours around both the Boathouse and Thomas's former home in Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea.

Councillor Mary Thomas urged young people to get involved in Project Llais.

"This promises to be a fantastic festival and I do hope that youth theatre groups will come forward.

"We are expecting a large number of visitors to Laugharne this year and we are all very excited about the celebrations."

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