Interview With… Dylan Townley

We chatted to Dylan about finally being able to bring new musical Milky Peaks to Theatr Clwyd .

(c) Brian Roberts

Hi Dylan – how does it feel to finally be bringing Milky Peaks to Theatr Clwyd? A bit emotional! We’ve all been through a lot. Live shows feel very different now, both being in the audience and on stage. This one in particular has been a long time coming, and is about what a community is and how we try (and sometimes fail) to live together. There were definitely times over the past two years where we weren’t sure whether this show would see the light of day. And here we are! Phew!

Could you explain what the show is about? Milky Peaks is a glittering musical about a perfectly normal community in Snowdonia that gets nominated for Britain’s Best Town Award, which is lovely. But we soon discover the award has a dark, insidious far-right agenda. Three lost souls and a shabby drag queen might – might – save the community’s heart. The show has plenty of fabulous songs, a chorus of queer mountain spirits, and a confetti explosion. So something for everyone!

What was it about Milky Peaks that made you want to be part of this production? Having worked with the same creative team on How To Win Against History, I was excited by the chance to make something bigger. When we were devising the show together we saw the characters springing into life through chats and improvisations, and I thought it would be fun to stay in town!

How has it been working with everybody on the production? It’s wonderful being reunited with the team who made How To Win Against History. Their insights and inventiveness astonish me all the time. The musical and comedic language of HTWAH is writ large in Milky Peaks, and we can try things here that we only dreamed of when we were doing an hour-long show at the Edinburgh Fringe. This opportunity is also due to the unwavering support and brilliance of Theatr Clwyd, who are the ideal partners for the show creatively and practically. The main challenge has been making cuts: we could fill an album or two with songs we love but which weren’t essential to telling the story. Hopefully this means there are plenty of sweet hooks banked for the next one!

What have you enjoyed about being part of this production? I have loved having the opportunity to play an actual wall. Two different walls, in fact. But I won’t give away any more than that.

What can audiences expect from Milky Peaks? The show has plenty of fabulous songs, a chorus of queer mountain spirits, and a confetti explosion. So something for everyone! To any potential audience member I would quote the show’s Disney-esque opening number: ‘Come, you need to come, you need to come!’. And if there were a piano nearby, I would even play the whole song for them, like a real-life autoplay trailer from Netflix. You’re welcome.

By Emma Clarendon

Milky Peaks will play at the Theatr Clwyd from the 1st to the 22nd April.

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