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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 August 2005, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Camera rolls on Dylan movie
Dave Fellows
Dave Fellows is playing the spirit of poet Dylan Thomas
Filming for a new screenplay about the ghost of Dylan Thomas, written by a Swansea School of Arts lecturer, has started in the city.

Ugly, Lovely Night was created by Binda Singh and scenes are being shot around Swansea University, Thomas' birthplace as well as at locations in America.

The film tells the tale of an American student who visits Swansea to solve a family riddle and meets Thomas' ghost.

Actor and comedian Dave Fellows, from Briton Ferry, plays the poet.

Filming in Wales has been scheduled to finish at the end of August.

The cast and crew will then relocate to America, where some scenes will be shot at Austin University in Texas, home to one of the largest collections of the writer's work.

James Fears and Dave Fellows
Filing is taking place in a hall of residence at the university

Mr Singh's play has been adapted for the big screen by an independent film company, BJB Productions.

"It's the story of a student whose father was born in Swansea and emigrated to the United States," he said.

"He is very much influenced by his father and his father's love of south Wales, and his almost obsessional love for Dylan Thomas and his work."

The film's producer and director, Brian Thomas, says they have drawn on Welsh talent from across the world.

"We have a very, very talented composer, again from Welsh origin who happens to live in Australia, a man called Andy Parslow," he said.

"He started by doing some extremely original mixes - a rhythm background but with highly stylised versions of the readings of Dylan Thomas.

Brian Thomas, John Evans and Binda Singh (Pic: Marianna Thomas)
Ugly, Lovely Night is the first film from BJB Productions

"We started filming on Monday and I'm surprised how well it's going - you always start with a feeling of trepidation."

James Fears, the actor who plays the films central character Marlais, said filming with co-star Dave Fellows had created quite a stir in Swansea.

"The spookiest thing is he refuses to get out of character," he said. "We go into town and he's in full garb, people just stare. And he talks just like Dylan, spot-on, it's frightening."

Mr Fellows said: "Most of the cast are in their late teens or early 20s and there's me in my mid-40s but we've gelled really well.

"Dylan is in most of the scenes so I'm one of the first on set in the morning and the last to leave but I'm really enjoying it."

The production company hopes to have edited the film in time for a preview screening in Swansea sometime in October.

However, the privately-funded film is expected to appear mainly on television in America.

'Virtual' Dylan brought to life
18 May 05 |  South West Wales
Poet's birthplace to be restored
01 Mar 05 |  South West Wales


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