Strolling in Swansea: take a dander in Dylan’s footsteps

The creator of September’s Now the Hero/Nawr Yr Arwr theatre event takes a walk through his hometown, shining a light on its artistic treasures, old and new

Post-industrial Swansea is still the “ugly, lovely town” Dylan Thomas grew up in a century ago. It is a fascinating approach if you arrive by train, passing the harsh realities of Port Talbot on your left, which allegedly inspired the dystopian cityscapes for director Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. You curve round to the pleasant view of Swansea Bay, flanked on the far side by the Mumbles and its lighthouse, which marks the near side of the Gower peninsula. It’s a fantastic panorama, like welcoming arms waiting to give you a big cwtch (a Welsh embrace) as you pull into the city.

The bay lends itself to the opening scenes of this month’s Now the Hero/Nawr yr Arwr, an immersive theatrical experience in which a performer leads audiences on a journey through the city, my hometown, and its artistic treasures, interweaving three stories of war. The show, which I developed with a team of collaborators, including fellow Welshman Owen Sheers, begins on the beach .

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