Imperial College

Under the Floor Above

Under the Floor Above is Refractive Index’s first audio post.

It is a parody of the 1954 BBC radio drama, Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas. It is set in the Science Communications unit at Imperial College London and follows a day in the lives of the students and lectures.

Under Milk Wood is a 1954 radio drama by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, adapted later as a stage play. The (rather obscure) plot follows an omniscient narrator who invites the audience to listen to the dreams and innermost thoughts of the inhabitants of a fictional small Welsh fishing village Llareggub (say it backwards).

During a class on the Sounds, Signs and Meanings of Radio, lecturer Gareth Mitchell claimed that Under Milk Wood was, and still is, one of the best pieces of radio to have ever been produced.

 As a consequence of this enthusiasm, I couldn’t help but think that a similar piece should be done but based on the Science Communications unit at Imperial College, or Llakcuf as we call it here. So after a bit of encouragement from my team at Monday Matter I wrote and recorded Under the Floor Above. I wanted to keep it as close to the original 1954 BBC production, so after a few practices I tried my best to imitate Richard Burton’s iconic accent and added some FX to achieve a ‘vintage’ texture to the sound.

Listen below,

James Crosland-Mills is is currently studying for an MSc in Science Media Production at Imperial College London.