Starless and Bible Black

Video June 2014 - As part of the Starless and Bible Black programme, Dylan Thomas’s poem ‘And Death Shall Have No Dominion’ was sung on the streets of New York by  a 'synchronised headphone choir'.  The setting for the poem was composed by Pete M Wyer.

The centenary of the famed Welsh poet Dylan Thomas is a great opportunity for the British Council to complement the work and investment of national partners in Wales.

The title of this programme, Starless and Bible Black, is inspired by the poet's work. British Council Wales is leading the co-ordination and development of this programme worldwide. 

This programme is in a spirit of mutuality, exchange and long term partnerships. By showcasing high quality Welsh work abroad, we will create lasting cultural relations and impact.

The majority of the programme will take place in five countries; the USA, Canada, Argentina, India and Australia. Activities will include collaborative performances, master classes and educational workshops for teachers and practitioners.

More about this programme

India

The ‘Walking Cities’ project is an exchange between four writers from Wales including Swansea born writer Joe Dunthorne, Bardd Plant Cymru 2011-13 Eurig Salisbury and four writers from India, making a connection with the birthplace of Dylan Thomas and the landscapes that had an impact on his writing.

Australia

British Council will present Theatr Iolo’s Adventures in the Skin Trade, adapted by Lucy Gough, in the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Arts Centre in May 2015. This will be the first time a Welsh Theatre Company has played at the Opera House since it opened in 1973. See British Council Australia for more information.

Canada

To celebrate the centenary Welsh poets Jemma King and Ifor Ap Glyn, winner of the Crown at the 2013 Denbighshire and District National Eisteddfod, will participate in the March Hare Festival, Atlantic Canada’s largest literary festival, from March 11th – 16th as part of a Wales/Canada writer exchange programme with Ty Newydd Writers Centre. 

USA

Claire Jones, former royal harpist to Prince Charles, and percussionist Chris Marshall will premiere a new suite inspired by Dylan Thomas in New York on the evening of Feb 27th. Entitled Dylan, the suite is a four movement work tracing Dylan Thomas’ life and juxtaposing his time in Wales with his literary adventures in New York. There is lots more planned so be sure to check British Council USA for more information.

Argentina

Welsh Folk Band Fernhill and writer Owen Martell will close the International Book Fair in Buenos Aires and will also give some presentations in Trelew, Patagonia between May 9th and May 12th. In addition to their collaboration, Owen Martell will present his own work to audiences at the Book Fair and provide workshops to students in local colleges.

Education

Underpinning the cultural programme will be a global education project creating a range of new materials to make the work and life of the famed Welsh poet and writer more widely known, and to bring his writings into the English language classroom.

Literary anniversaries such as the Dylan Thomas 100 Centenary (DT100) have provided us with a rich resource to create educational materials to support teachers of learners for whom English is not a first language. Recent anniversary projects have included the Charles Dickens’ bicentenary in 2012 and the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice this year.