BBC Wales premieres Aardman Animations created short film of Dylan Thomas's 'The Hunchback in the Park' for National Poetry Day
To mark National Poetry Day (Thursday 2 October) BBC Wales is to premiere a short animation of Dylan Thomas’s poem ‘The Hunchback in the Park’ featuring Michael Sheen on iPlayer.
Of being involved in the project, Sheen said: “It was a pleasure to perform The Hunchback in the Park for this wonderful little film. The animation brings Dylan Thomas’s poem to life in a very imaginative and striking way and I can only hope that audiences everywhere find it as engaging as I did.”
Created by Aardman Animations for BBC Wales the poem tells the story of an isolated man who spends all his time at Cwmdonkin Park in Uplands, Swansea with Aardman recreating elements of the park in its studio for the production.
Aardman director, Bram Ttwheam, commented: “This project was a special proposition for me – an opportunity to dig deep into a poem that reveals more with each reading. It was a challenge for me to represent this multi-layered work without allowing any one aspect to dominate. I wanted to make sure that the images were as open to personal interpretation and the poem itself.”
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The three-minute long film will also be broadcast on BBC One Wales later in the month to mark the centenary of Thomas’s birth.
Jo Pearce, creative director at BBC Wales, added: “This project was a joy to produce. As soon as we heard Michael Sheen’s recording of the poem we know we had something special. We were able to assemble a brilliant and talented team to work on this animation because of the love for Dylan’s work. People immediately wanted to contribute to the production and that is clear to see when watching this beautiful animation.”
The film features original music by John Hardy, head of composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Speaking of his involvement Hardy said it would be “lovely if it brings people to poetry and to orchestral music – and it would be great to think people are going to be listening to this for some time to come.”
Michael Garvey, director of the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, remarked: “We have a great reputation for our soundtrack recordings at BBC National Orchestra of Wales, but animation is an exciting addition to our work. The combination of the music that John Hardy wrote for us, and the incredible animation from Aardman, creates a wonderful film that we can’t wait to share.”
The film is part of BBC Wales’ package to mark the centenary of Thomas’s birth and will be available on the BBC iPlayer and at bbc.co.uk/dylanthomas.