Show depicts life of an iconic Hollywood star

Rhodri Miles as Richard Burton. (s)
Rhodri Miles as Richard Burton. (s)

Weaving tragedy and glamour, the life of a Welsh legend who left poverty behind to become one of Hollywood’s greatest stars is being depicted in a one-man play.

Burton is the critically acclaimed tale performed by Game of Thrones star Rhodri Miles.

It tells of Richard Burton, one half of the world’s first celebrity power couple.

But masquerading behind his glamorous mask - fame, fortune and a high-profile relationship with Elizabeth Taylor - were threads of regret and guilt numbed by alcohol addiction.

Describing an interview with an inebriated Burton, Rhodri said, “You can hear him speak in riddles. It was a bit sad to watch.”

“He was a naughty boy,” he added, “always cracking jokes. But he was harbouring all this turmoil. He was a complex man and had regret about leaving his family.

“Older generations tend to see him as a lovable rogue but younger ones don’t get him. He was a man of his time. Paparazzi was in its infancy and Elizabeth and Richard started the trend of celebrity couples.”

Rhodri (46), feels a particular kinship to the star: not only playing him at the same age, he too grew up in a Welsh village where drinking was central to the community.

“I’m a big fan of Richard Burton. We don’t have as many actors from Wales who have gone on to be iconic stars.

And he is iconic. He was ‘the voice’.

“But he was very unhappy. The excess of the man caught up with him.

“But it was how he wanted to live. He was part of the first generation of children of the Second World War and because they were close to death, they were living life to the full, living for today. I can only admire that.”

The show will take place at the Burnley Mechanics on Sunday, February 26th, starting at 7pm.

Tickets are £8 and can be purchased on 01282 664400.