Jack Dean's one man show adapts Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood to Bristol using poetry, animation and a performance by Dean that has been described as nuanced and considered:
Dean’s talent as an actor as well as writer comes into play as he brings each character to life. He raises plenty of belly laughs with his witty delivery and apt characterisation, varying the pace and tone and reining the piece back from ever feeling bland or repetitive. The comedy also provides a contrast with the serious nature of the poem’s conclusion – those April riots – and prevents it ever becoming preachy or overly political.
The childlike, hand-drawn animation sequences of the monster going about his errands, which appear throughout the performance, give a naïve, childlike quality to the piece. This is torn apart by the raw, mobile phone footage of the riots that appears to the end, edited to a shuddering bassline. Dean does not attempt to analyse the riots and their causes, nor does he take sides or condemn. Rather, the overwhelming feeling we are left with is one of sadness and loss.
Dean’s love for the area and the people in it are obvious throughout the piece, and the destructive final events leave the audience as heartbroken as he clearly is. - Jessica Bateman at Venue BristolUnder Stokes Croft by Jack Dean is on at the Oddfellows Speakeasy on Tuesday 03 July at 6:30pm. £5.