A brand new events programme, ‘Discovered at Dylans’ draws on the spirit of the famous circle of Dylan Thomas’ friends and associates in his Swansea days, the ‘Kardomah gang.’ From writers to artists to musicians and actors they met at the old Kardomah cafe on Castle Street, Swansea (sadly lost during the Blitz) and in the Study of 5 Cwmdonkin Drive on a weekly basis. It is hoped that these events will inspire those up and comers in the Arts to utilise the famous house in Dylan’s centenary and network and collaborate with other like-minded people.
Geoff Haden, the owner of the house who restored the house to its splendorous Edwardian era beginnings in 2008 explained "Dylan was a young man who knew what he wanted to do with his life from a very early age, what he lacked however in those early days was a support system to reassure and guide him. He built that by seeking out others from a spectrum of creative minds to bounce ideas off of and to provide honest feedback. What I have wanted to do with this house since my time owning it is not only make people more aware of its creative past but also use it to inspire people into pursuing their own creative futures."
Although No.5 Cwmdonkin Drive has sporadically staged events over the course of the last few years it is hoped that Discovered at Dylan’s will create a full event calendar packed with a variety of interesting events for people to see and participate in. Part of the initiative will see exciting new poetry and creative writing courses being developed and afternoons and evenings dedicated to showcasing the arts.
Matthew Hughes, curator of the birthplace said of the initiative, "We know there are a huge number of talented people out there. Some who are starting out, some who have being doing what they love doing for a number years without much success and some who could be considered as being more established. For us here, we hope to provide a unique stage and platform for them to develop from and also offer them support in championing them and offering contacts to those who could help them further themselves. Starting this ongoing programme in Dylan’s centenary year is very apt."
All are agreed in the birthplace that there is nothing more exciting than going along to a music night, exhibition or dramatic performance as an audience member and thinking ‘Wow, I’ve just discovered a star!’ as an audience member at some of the showcase events, you’ll be able to do just that!
Matthew added "We want people to venture out of their homes, away from the X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice and see the real side, the nuts and bolts involved in the natural growth of a creative talent. We want our audiences to be a part of that journey too. Yet, we will also welcome Patron’s with backgrounds in the arts that may be able to offer participants valuable advice in how to progress in their particular field."
Geoff elaborated "If we look locally, at Wales for example, over the years there has been a raft of talent going on to have incredible success. This however, we know is marginal to those out there still waiting for their opportunity."
If you are interested in participating in a ‘Discovered at Dylans’ event or course, developing or showcasing a skill please contact Matt@dylanthomasbirthplace.com