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21/11/2020

Review: Tom


Tom – A Story of Tom Jones is a musical based on the early life of Super Star Tom Jones, or as he was known back then, Tommy Woodward.
Tom Jones’ route to fame and fortune was not an easy one, as Tommy with his band the Senators played the pubs and working men’s clubs of South Wales, hoping for their lucky break.

The hard up young man struggles to make ends meet, working by day and gigging by night to support his teenage wife and young baby. And, when Tom and his band do get a ‘lucky break’ when Manager Gordon Mills talent spots the group and moves them to London, things don’t get much better…
Tom beautifully tells the story of Jones’ early years, his desire to make it big and the strong bond between him and his young wife Linda. Linda always encourages her husband, even though she knows that Tom is not always faithful to her.

The production has some very moving scenes that are coupled with some great comical moments, and some fantastic musical numbers. Kit Orton plays Tom brilliantly, capturing the spirit of Tom Jones wonderfully, his performance has a really natural feel to it, without, what could easily have been a send-up of Jones’ hip gyrations.

Elin Phillips is perfectly cast as Tom’s wife, Linda, playing two very different sides of the character – the supportive wife pushing her husband, with many words of encouragement, and the wife that is left behind in Wales, struggling to bring up her young son with very little money and spending her evenings waiting for the phone in the local phone box to ring so that she can have just a few minutes to talk to her husband.

A very strong cast of actor/musicians complete the line-up for what is a fantastic show. We all know that Tom did get his lucky break and became an international super star, but there are times during this performance where you begin to wonder if he will make it.

Even if you are not a fan of Tom Jones, you will love this show, with plenty of drama, lots of music from the time, and some great comical moments – what’s not to like!

Tom – A Story of Tom Jones is at the New Wolsey Theatre until Saturday 3rd May. To book tickets contact the Box Office on 01473 295900 or visit www.wolseytheatre.co.uk

Wendy Cook, Ipswich24

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