Playing legend Burton is a dream come true for Rhodri

Burton, Cast, Doncaster, Tonight, Box office: {|Cast in Doncaster|click here}

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 30th March 2017, 12:52 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 9:28 pm
Rhodri Miles stars in Burton, about the life of actor Richard Burton, at Cast in Doncaster
Rhodri Miles stars in Burton, about the life of actor Richard Burton, at Cast in Doncaster

The life of the great Welsh actor Richard Burton is portrayed in his own words in this show, depicting his journey from humble beginnings to Hollywood megastardom.

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.

It stars Rhodri Miles, who has appeared on TV in Game of Thrones, Torchwood, Atlantis and in the series Hollow Crown on Richard II.

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 Metropolitan Police officer, Rhodri trained at the Bristol Old Vic theatre school and has been a professional actor for 25 years.

On stage he took the role of Lodovico in Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello at the Crucible in Sheffield, 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 is a very good place to start, according to Rhodri.

n Later this month, a brand new play, The Empty Nesters’ Club, written and directed by BAFTA Award-winning playwright John Godber, visits Cast.

The Empty Nesters’ Club offers a humorous yet poignant look at the pain of the ‘empty nest’ and what befalls parents after the children have outgrown the family home.

Mum Vicky Barret, whose daughter has recently left for university in London, prepares for the inaugural meeting of her support group by reflecting on the upheaval of letting go of her not-so-little girl.

This Yorkshire comedy stars Jane Hogarth (White Van Man, Coronation Street, Emmerdale), Robert Angell (Prisoners’ Wives, The Syndicate, Waterloo Road) and Hull-born-and- bred Josie Morley.

The Empty Nesters’ Club is at Cast from April 11 to 13 at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm Wednesday matinee.