Project Description

The Beginning – A Joint Conference Between the Dylan Thomas Society and the Thomas Hardy Society

  • Date:

    October 27th – 29th

  • The Beginning – A Joint Conference Between the Dylan Thomas Society and the Thomas Hardy Society
    Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of Dylan Thomas’s Death

    Friday 27th October to Sunday 29th October 2023


    Dylan’s Swansea – a walking tour with actor Adrian Metcalfe to places of interest including Dylan Thomas Centre, Queen’s Hotel, Dylan Thomas Theatre, Swansea Museum, High Street following part of Dylan’s stories Return Journey and Old Garbo

    Happy Birthday Dylan – a tea party in his Birthplace with spam and marmite sandwiches, jelly and blancmange just as his daughter Aeronwy remembered as a 10 year old.

    William Barnes – Influences A mentor of Hardy who published in the local Dorset dialect but was also familiar with the Welsh strict metre
    Thomas Hardy Society – at DT Theatre

    Thomas, DJ and Dylan The influence of Hardy on Dylan and his father

    Official Conference Opening – Keynote opening speech – buffet and drinks reception – Dylan Thomas Theatre followed by

    A Sense of Place – Wessex, Wales, Llareggub – the influence of place on the work of Dylan and Hardy.


    09.00 – 16.00

    From Cradle to Grave Starting at the Birthplace of Dylan we take a round about route west taking in places from Dylan’s stories including Return Journey and Reminiscences of Childhood before visiting Fern Hill and ending up in ‘the strangest town in Wales’ – Laugharne with lunch at The Boathouse and visits to Brown’s Hotel and Dylan’s grave.

    The Young Dylan in Swansea – the neglected part of Dylan’s life even though it was when he wrote two thirds of his published work. Author and broadcaster Alun Gibbard brings his “ within a world…” alive. Kardomah Café/Dylan Thomas Theatre

    10.30 to 14.00
    Talk at the Boathouse about Dylan in Laugharne
    Extraordinary Little Cough –Swansea Mumbles and Gower bus tour takes in Dylan’s splendidly curving shore of Swansea Bay, Mumbles where the Swansea Little Theatre was based and the South Gower coast ending up in Rhossili. Readings on way from Dylan’s Gower short stories and letters. Lunch at King Arthur Hotel


    Love the Words –time to visit the Dylan Thomas exhibition, Swansea Museum and Maritime Museum Science festival

    Buffet reception Dylan Thomas Theatre to include Hardy meets Dylan The final of a competition to write a play about the imaginary meeting between the two authors presented by Lighthouse Theatre Company – Dylan Thomas Theatre

    From Mad Town to Llareggub Dylan Thomas Theatre Members of Swansea Little Theatre with a miscellany which traces the 20 year development of Dylan’s classic play for voices – Under Milk Wood

    Edwardian Themed Dinner Based on menus at Dylan Thomas Birthplace


    Who Killed Dylan Thomas – Dylan created the myth around the circumstances of his death but what is the true story – Rob Gittins – senior scriptwriter on Eastenders has written two books and a TV documentary about the last days of Dylan. Dylan Thomas Theatre

    A Welsh Breakfast – a full ‘Welsh’ including cockles and laverbread plus a glass of Prosecco at Langlands Brasserie on Langland Bay’ where Dylan once refused to go skinny dipping with a group from the Swansea Little Theatre

    Patricia, Edith and Arnold – a tour of Dylan’s Uplands including his childhood haunts, Cwmdonkin Park and a tour of the Dylan Thomas Birthplace with tea and Welsh cakes. Small groups to allow time in Birthplace, walking if weather OK or minibus

    Lunchtime Farewell

    *** At this stage the programme is provisional. The Dylan Thomas Society and the Thomas Hardy Society would appreciate expressions of interest in this weekend event to be held in Wales. If you would be interested in attending please contact THS Secretary – Dr Tracy Hayes – ***

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