Burton at Cast, Doncaster’s flagship theatre, vividly presents the life of the great Welsh actor in his own words from humble beginnings to Hollywood mega-stardom next week.
Beautiful women (not least Elizabeth Taylor), alcohol, wealth, stage and screen are the threads woven into this sad, happy, exuberant and often-hilarious one-man show starring Rhodri Miles (Game of Thrones, Torchwood, Atlantis, Richard II - Hollow Crown Series).
Drink was the only real relief through Burton’s deteriorating health and mental state, his doomed tempestuous relationship with Taylor and his constant guilt over the abandonment of his family that provides plenty of drama in this critically acclaimed portrayal.
“I’ve always wanted to play Richard Burton” said Rhodri Miles, who is 46 years old and was born in Pontarddulais, just six miles away from Burton’s birthplace. “He was a great thespian actor, an alcoholic womaniser who often said that his natural disposition to the Celtic gloom was caused by the mist in the hills and the black in the coal, all of it seeping into his very being. When you think of Welsh iconic figures, he’s one of them”
A former Met Police Officer, Rhodri trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has been a professional actor for twenty-five years. On stage he played Lodovico in Othello at the Sheffield Crucible directed by Daniel Evans, opposite Dominic West’s Iago. He played Dylan Thomas to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh fringe in 2007 and 2012 in Clown in the Moon written by Gwynne Edwards
Edwards is also the author of Burton, which vividly depicts the actor’s often hilarious, melancholic, self-deprecating take on life, culminating in his acrimonious first divorce to Elizabeth Taylor, which happened not long after they both appeared together in the movie version of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood.
“In fact our play starts in the same manner as Under Milk Wood”, using the words from Dylan Thomas’ famous play for voices with Burton stating the famous line - “To begin at the beginning….” which according to Rhodri is a very good place to start.
Burton is on at Cast on Thursday 30 March, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £14.50 (£12.50 concessions), available from Box Office on 01302 303 959 or online at castindoncaster.com.