Director Cian Llewellyn brings to life one of Dylan Thomas’ lesser known short stories about a group of old friends on a weekend jolly to a pub in Wales. 

“A story. If you can call it a story. There’s no real beginning or end and there’s very little in the middle.” That’s a pretty accurate representation of the Welsh writer Dylan Thomas’ lesser known short story The Outing. Based on his tale of a yearly jolly tripping around various pubs in the countryside, the story follows a group of old friends as they struggle against moody wives, elderly relatives and an old, 1949 Guy Arab III charabanc bus.

The Outing takes place on a bus

Dylan Thomas’ lesser known short story ‘The Outing’ is the basis for this jolly in the Welsh countryside.

Having graduated from RADA in 2014, director Cian Llewellyn has tread the boards with the National Youth Theatre and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe. Despite his bouncy Welsh accent that narrates the film as the young Thomas aboard the trusty pub crawl bus, Llewellyn has transposed the Welsh story to the chocolate box English village of Colton Bassett in Nottinghamshire.

It was there that he sourced his cast. Having crowdfunded over £2000 in just a month, Llewellyn set about finding a group of local villagers to portray the rowdy group of locals on their epic pub crawl that leaves them stranded in a church yard with the early sun rising, tripping over one another and trying to figure out where on earth they are underneath a flying moon. True to the story, the cast were all friends, and this shines through in their charisma and natural affinity with one another on screen, despite their lack of professional training.

Cast of The Outing drinking in pub

The story was transposed from its Welsh roots to Colston Bassett, Nottinghamshire.

Filmed over five days between two pubs and the Vale of Belvoir, Lewellyn’s film is a sugar sweet first feature that sees our band of merry men never quite make it to Porthcawl, instead drunkenly splashing around in a river. With charming shots of the countryside, it’s as if ye old merry England never quite went away, and unlike most pub crawls it doesn’t end with anyone vomiting on anyone else, alcohol fuelled fisticuffs or drunken and regrettable text messages being exchanged. No, this is Little England (or Wales) if ever there was one, and The Outing is a delightful step back in time to a simpler world.

★★★★☆

The Outing is available to watch on Vimeo now.