With Tom Jones coming to Colwyn Bay in July what better than a theatre production of the story of the man himself and that’s exactly what A Story Of Tom Jones is at the Rhyl Pavilion Theatre.
The story starts from the beginning as Tommy Woodward is making is way towards the Tom Jones that we know today, through the highs and lows and a couple of name changes such as when he was known as Tommy Scott and the Senators.
So, most of us know the story of the Welsh lad that did good, but with the play, you are given something a little more with a treat of the music of the time and those songs that we have come to love such as Delila, What’s New Pussy Cat and of cause Tom’s first big hit in 1965 with It’s Not Unusual.
One of the first things that you notice from the play is Kit Orten, who plays Tom Jones, the sound the mannerisms are all down to a damn good take on Tom.
Something else that you notice is in the background the clever use of lights and images allows the backdrops on a screen which is semi-transparent when lit in a certain way, this allows moments for the guitar player, for instance, being just visible as he plays in the background during certain scenes.
This effect is also used very well at the side of the stage when Tom is phoning home to his wife, as he is dimly lit through the thin canvas, as if he is in the studio hundreds of miles away, very nicely din and effective.
Throughout the show we have the narrator occasionally coming on to the stage with explanations of moments of Tom’s history, which works very well, it does break the show down to the documentary style, but it certainly helps with keeping the key moments together.
The cast is superb and the parts they play are played with a passion, from the local lads that were Tom Jones’ band, to even playing the part of the rather eccentric Joe Meek when then Tom and the band went to do a recording with him.
What About The Music in A Story of Tom Jones?
Well, where do you start? As I mentioned earlier the classic songs are in there, but what really works here is Kit who plays Tom Jones, taking on the mighty voice that Tom has is now easy task and it’s one thing that could make or break a production, let’s face it, if you don’t sound like Tom Jones then it’s not going to work.
Luckily for us, Kit Orten, is superb, right from the start he sounds like Tom when he talks and when he sings, wow, when he sings! The audience was whooping, whistling and occasionally screaming during his performance.
And when we cam to the end of the show with the Tom Jones medley, the theatre nearly took off, everyone joined in with the songs at this point and the whistles, whoops and screams got louder, I was quite surprised no knickers were thrown on the stage!
Overall the production, music, acting and cast were all brilliant, I really couldn’t fault the evening, it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a show this much and to be honest, this is what we need these days, so much more live music.
TOM: A Story of Tom Jones is on at the Rhyl Pavilion until Saturday the 22nd March, I really recommend this one, for more details of the showing times, pop by the Rhyl Pavilion website for details. You can also find out more about the production at the Theatr na nÓg website.