Principal photography on an adaptation of Under Milk Wood, starring Rhys Ifans, has begun in Wales.

Based on Dylan Thomas’s classic radio drama, Under Milk Wood stars Ifans as First Voice/Captain Cat, an old sea captain who dreams of his deceased crew members and lost love.

Directed by Kevin Allen, who made Ifans’ breakthrough film Twin Town, the shoot in the tiny harbour village of Solva, in Pembrokeshire, will last six weeks.

Singer Charlotte Church will co-star as Polly Garter, a woman pining for her lost lover. Other roles are taken by a host of Welsh actors with guest appearances from rugby legend Gareth Edwards and former Labour leader Lord Kinnock.

Allen and Ifans are producers of the film, along with Stephen Malit, producer of Julien Temple’s London – The Modern Babylon. Allen also contributed to the screenplay, written by Murray Lachlan Young with Michael Breen.

DoP is Andy Hollis, production designer is Marie Lanna and costume designer is Charlotte Mitchell (Belle).

Under Milk Wood was first performed on the radio in 1954 and adapted into a film in 1972, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Allen said his goal is to capture Thomas’ vision while still making his film original.

“We want to veer away from delivering a dull, literal reflection of Thomas’s original work, intending instead to explore some of the more erotic, visceral elements of the richly funny, filthily fluid, magical dreamscape – whilst not stooping to mess with Thomas’s original text,” he said.

Versions of the film in English and Welsh – titled Dan Y Wenallt – will be produced in succession. Additionally, Ifans will present a making-of documentary as part of the Dylan 100 Centenary celebrations.

The production will be partly financed by Welsh broadcaster S4C and funded through an SEIS structure created by Goldfinch Pictures, an arm of the entertainment accountants Nyman Libson Paul.

Metro International Entertainment will handle international sales.

Rhys Ifans is repped by 42, UTA and Brillstein Grey.