Join us to watch a powerful duet exploring the tumultuous relationship between Caitlin and her husband – the poet Dylan Thomas. Available here until 25 October.
"Hello, I'm Caitlin, and I'm an alcoholic."
Caitlin was the wife of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and a creative force in her own right. She struggled alongside her husband with drink problems. In the 1970s, twenty years after her husband's death in 1953, she started going to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.
CAITLIN, by welsh company Light, Ladd & Emberton, follows her there. In a circle of chairs set out for an AA meeting, Caitlin makes a determined effort to deal with her tempestuous past, and revisits her life with Dylan. It is a relationship fuelled by love, addiction, jealousy and infidelity. As Caitlin and Dylan drink, fight, love and leave each other, the unoccupied chairs become part of the action in this physical and powerful duet.
The production was commissioned by the National Library of Wales for the Dylan Thomas centenary in 2014 and was part of the British Council's Edinburgh Showcase in 2017. Even though the centenary was about Dylan Thomas, the library felt that Caitlin was missing from the narrative. They wanted a piece that would focus on her and show her perspective. It's a show about her, not him – he just happens to be in it because he's married to her.
"A woman whose voice wasn't heard"
Photo: Warren Orchard
Light, Ladd & Emberton are a collection of Wales-based dance artists: Deborah Light, Eddie Ladd and Gwyn Emberton – together with creative producer Laura Drane, that formed in 2014.
"The sort of work we make is really tricky to describe!" says Drane, "If I try to distil the sort of work we make, the thing that makes us distinctive is that we're always interested in untold stories and unheard voices, which are both personal and universal. We want to look at people and ideas that perhaps haven't been given the amplification or profile they might have had.
"CAITLIN is a good example of that because, not only does it show the perspective of a woman whose voice wasn't heard but, she has been demonised as the source of Dylan Thomas' problems. The response of many audiences over the last five years – whether in Kolkata, India or Llandrindod Wells in the Welsh county of Powys, have been extraordinary and that's what keeps the work relevant and fresh after this number of years.
"Taking stories, histories and identities from Wales and sharing them nationally and internationally is very important to us. Our vision is to be a catalyst for a creatively confident Cymru/Wales connecting across the world. We deliver our vision together by collaborating to create performances that move people physically and emotionally. We perform for and with publics, inhabiting spaces from castles to village halls, theatres to beaches."
CAITLIN has toured several times since 2014, including a run at Dance Base at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015, Battersea Arts Centre and it formed part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2017. The film was produced for BBC #DancePassion in 2019.
You can watch CAITLIN on demand on our website from 24 September to 25 October 2019.
At a glance:
What can I watch?
A performance of CAITLIN by Light, Ladd & Emberton.
When can I watch it?
The stream launches at 11am (BST) on Tuesday 24 September 2019. It will be available to watch on this page of our website until 5pm (GMT) Friday 25 October 2019.
The performance mostly contains dance with 150 words in English.
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Find out more:
Watch a trailer for CAITLIN
Watch an interview with Light, Ladd and Emberton
Discover Light Ladd & Emberton's latest work: Owain Glyndwr Silent Disco
Caitlin: Eddie Ladd
Dylan: Gwyn Emberton
Direction: Deborah Light
Choreography: Light, Ladd & Emberton
Sound: Siôn Orgon
Costumes: Neil Davies
Producer: Laura H Drane
Commissioned by National Library of Wales for the Dylan Thomas centenary in 2014.