Tom Hollander (Rev.) Essie Davis (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries), Ewen Bremner (Page Eight) and Phoebe Fox (New Tricks) have been cast in BBC Two’s upcoming 90 minute Dylan Thomas biopic A Poet In New York. Tom Hollander has been cast in the lead role of Dylan Thomas, while Essie Davis has been cast as Dylan’s wife Caitlin. Production on the drama recently got underway in in Cardiff and Laugharne, with BBC Two eyeing a 2014 premiere.
Written by Andrew Davies (Quirke), A Poet In New York begins when Dylan arrives in the city on his fourth and fatal visit to rehearse, write and party. One of the most famous poets in the world by the early 1950s, Dylan’s popular and electrifying tours had also made him a much loved celebrity in America. He was on his way to Hollywood to write an opera with Stravinsky. But, before he headed west, he had to earn enough to fund the trip by fulfilling 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 turned instead into a requiem for a man whose life had spiralled out of control. Modern TV is producing with Griff Rhys Jones, Rob Warr, Faith Penhale and Bethan Jones serving as executive producers. Aisling Walsh is attached to direct.
Speaking of being cast in the drama Tom Hollander said: “I am thrilled to be playing Dylan Thomas for Aisling Walsh in Andrew Davies’ wonderful A Poet In New York, produced by Modern Television. Thomas was a great poet, whose blazing life and premature death left both a considerable poetic legacy and an enduring reputation for bad behaviour. He was also quite fat. Playing him is both a wonderful acting challenge and a great opportunity to eat things that I would normally have to avoid.”
While Essie Davis added: “I am very excited to be part of this production and working with this terrific team on A Poet In New York. I played Polly Garter in Under Milk Wood in high school and have loved Dylan Thomas since that first meeting. Caitlin has an interesting story to tell and it is thrilling to be part of a project celebrating the centenary of his birth.”