Tom: A Story of Tom Jones
Published Wednesday 5 March by Susie Wild - from The Stage.
In the jukebox musical mould, Tom is interspersed with live rock and roll songs and convincingly tells the story of Tom Jones’ early years - his marriage to his childhood sweetheart Linda (15 years old and pregnant, and still his wife today) through the valleys to his first Number One hit.
Staged in ‘his old home town that looks the same’ in Pontypridd, across the road from the YMCA where Tom Jones used to play as Tommy Scott and The Senators. Theatr na nog has branched out from its usual practice of creating drama for schools to put on this musical, and seem to be succeeding in attracting new audiences. Still, in telling the story of the man with ‘a tiger in his tank’, sometimes the breadth, voice and personality of Tom Jones did occasionally feel too big for the show trying to contain it.
Casting someone to embody The Voice, accent and moves of Tom Jones was not easy but a be-wigged Kit Orton manages to pull it off with much swagger and is bound to induce some knicker-throwing along the way. And Elin Phillips is endearing as Linda, encouraging a gifted yet bar-brawling Tom to reach for his musical dreams. With good Welsh humour, plenty of hit songs and a full ensemble gig finale that includes It’s Not Unusual, Delilah, Sex Bomb and What’s New Pussycat? you’ll want to dance in the aisles and continue the party afterwards.