Michigan Celtic Rep makes debut with Michigan premiere of ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ 12/8-12/9
ANN ARBOR, Mich.–The Michigan Celtic Repertory Company (MCRC) will make its debut here with a Michigan premiere of A Child’s Christmas in Wales, an adaptation of the Dylan Thomas holiday classic. The play, featuring some of Michigan’s top actors, is licensed to the company by The New York Irish Repertory Theatre.
The MCRC was formed this year by David Kiley to bring Celtic theatre to Michigan. “I have been immersed in the world of Michigan theatre for almost five years now, and I have longed for, because of my Irish and Welsh heritage, a source of Celtic theatre from established classic works to the new cutting edge stuff coming Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow,” said Kiley. The MCRC has formed an alliance with The Cork Arts Theatre in Cork Ireland to try and bring new work to Michigan.
A Child’s Christmas in Wales, written by the bard of Wales Dylan Thomas, is a piece of prose by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas recorded by Thomas on BBC radio in 1952. Emerging from an earlier piece he wrote, the work is an anecdotal reminiscence of a Christmas from the viewpoint of a young boy, portraying a nostalgic and simpler time. It is Thomas’s most popular work.
The work has been adapted into a performance of prose and classic Christmas songs and carols by The New York Irish Rep. “I saw this work two years ago, and it starred my theater hero, John Cullum, and I knew then that I wanted to do it in Michigan,” said Kiley.
The cast is John DeMerell, Matthew Wallace, Elizabeth Mitchell, Adrian Diffey, Angelique Walsh, and David Francis. It is music-directed by 2018 and two-time Wilde Award winner Brian E. Buckner.
“This story and production is beautiful because of the prose that you start with, but then the folks at The New York Irish Rep created these lovely arrangements where we sing in both English and Welsh. It makes you feel like you are home about 6PM on Christmas Eve after an hour or so of sleigh riding,” said Kiley.
The performance will be done in the style of a radio play. In fact, said Kiley, Thomas first performed the whole of his original work on BBC radio. The performance will try and evoke some of that feeling and pay homage to the genre of radio plays, which is still a major medium in the U.K.
The December 8 performance will be at The Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor at 7:45 PM with light refreshments with a Welsh influence and meeting the theatre company at 7PM. Tickets are $20.00 at the door. Advanced purchase is appreciated. The December 9 performance is at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Bar and Restaurant. The performance will take place fittingly in The Celtic Room. The performance will start at 4:00, but we would like patrons to arrive starting at 3:15 so that they can order food and drink before the show starts, though you may order and have food and drink brought to your table as well after the show commences.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at these links: