Following a successful bid to the Arts Council of Wales in December, Neath-based theatre-company Theatr na nÓg has now begun a two-month UK tour with a rock n roll theatre show about the early life of Tom Jones. The show opened on Saturday March 1 in Tom’s hometown of Pontypridd, 49 years to the day that It’s Not Unusual became Number 1. 07 Mar 2014
TOM – A story of Tom Jones begins UK tour
The audience have been on their feet, dancing in the aisles and we even had some knickers thrown on stage. The production celebrates Tom’s early career and hard graft in the lead up to his rise to success and the hit number 1 single, It’s Not Unusual – this is a rock n roll theatre show telling the story of this Welsh legend and Valleys boy with an extraordinary talent.
Tom has been through many makeovers during his time at the top of the charts. From his hip-swivelling and pelvis thrusting moves and collaborations with some of Wales’ and the world’s most successful artists right through to his cool, stylish demeanour on The Voice. But what was Tom like in the 60's at the start of his career? Known then as Tommy Woodward from Treforest. TOM will offer you a glimpse into his early life and career in the Valleys.
Born Thomas John Woodward, on 7 June 1940 in Treforest, the Welsh singer is known worldwide for his voice and for selling over 100 million records.
Writer Mike James is looking forward to seeing his work on stage.
‘ I first got the idea for this show curiously enough when listening to the great man talking on the Desert Island Discs. Here was a perfectly down to earth valleys boy talking about life in Wales much as I remember it myself. And yet he became one of the world’s greatest superstars! I wanted to know just exactly how that came about,’ explained Mike.
He concluded, ‘…what I discovered was a fascinating story of gritty determination, hardship and incredible good fortune that finally set Tom on his way to fame and glory. It is a tale worth telling -as I hope all who see this production will agree!’
Theatr na nÓg's Artistic Director, Geinor Styles is delighted to be directing this theatre piece that sees the audience being given the opportunity to delve into the history of Tom.
'With a live band on stage - the production is infectious, emotional and gritty. It tells the story of the blossoming talent of Tom Jones who sings in pubs and clubs up and down the South Wales valleys, his hard graft and tenacity to succeed until his big break in 1965.'
Geinor added, 'Mike James (originally from Ebbw Vale) gave us the English language script in 2012. It was a complete script and it's so obvious that Mike is very enthusiastic and passionate about it. In 2012, we presented a workshop version and the response was incredible. A year and a half on, we are delighted to be given the opportunity to share this inspirational tale.’
Geoff Cripps, Artistic Director at RCT Theatres commented, "RCT Theatres is delighted to be co-producing TOM with Theatr na nÓg and Neath Port Talbot Theatres. The subject is an absolutely perfect fit for us given that the living legend is a local boy gone global!’
Theatr na nÓg in association with Rhondda Cynon Taf and Neath Port Talbot Theatres.
Starring a 10-strong cast of actor-musicians, TOM is now touring the UK from 1 March 2014 – 3 May 2014. For full details, visit www.theatr-nannog.co.uk. Theatr na nÓg in association with Rhondda Cynon Taf and Neath Port Talbot Theatre
Theatr na nÓg is funded by the Arts Council of Wales.
TOM = Neath based Theatr na nÓg in association with Rhondda Cynon Taf and Neath Port Talbot Theatres, present TOM
For further information, please contact Rachel Kinchin, Marketing & Media Manager for TOM on 07769 290369/Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org
This production is now touring and will visit these venues. There are photo/interview opportunities for the media as well as high-quality sound and video footage from the show that can be used.
March 1 - 8 Muni Pontypridd
March 12 - 15 Lyric Carmarthen
March 17 - 22 Rhyl Pavillion
March 26 - 29 Gardyne Theatre Dundee
March 31 - April 5 Theatre Royal Windsor
April 7 - 12 Gwyn Hall Neath
April 21 – May 4 New Wolsey Ipswich