A Welsh man playing the role of iconic singer Tom Jones during his early years is relishing the chance to play the star.
Kit Orton portrays the music star in Tom, a new musical coming to the Waterside Theatre from Tuesday, April 5, through to Saturday, April 9.
Speaking soon after the show’s premiere, Kit said: “There is a lot of pressure in playing the role of Tom Jones, he was such an icon. But because there is not a lot of footage of how he was in the 1950s, there is quite a lot of artistic licence in our creation of Tom Jones and there is nothing out there to contradict our view of it. He hasn’t really been involved in the show. We have had good luck messages from both him and his management team but he hasn’t been along to rehearsals or anything like that.
“However, we have had former members of his band, The Senators, whom he started out with. Bernard Hopkins actually came to see the show on the second night we performed and he has been messaging Tom telling him that he must come and see the show.
“I hope that if we carry on getting the reaction we have had so far then, hopefully, news will travel and he’ll come and see us at some point.”
The show is all about the early years of Tom’s life during the 50s and 60s as well as looking at the relationship the singer had with his wife Linda.
And while Kit might have felt pressure, he was delighted to take on the role.
He said: “I was very lucky in that I had a phone call asking if I was interested in auditioning for the part. Being Welsh I said yes, and was just lucky enough to get the job. I was a huge fan of Tom Jones growing up. I think it is one of those things when you are Welsh, you are born with a knowledge of all the Tom Jones songs.”
Not all of Tom’s well known songs are in the show. Kit said it is not a jukebox musical, with all the hits shoehorned in. It’s Not Unusual is the last song in the show, but extras like What’s New Pussycat are performed as an encore at the end.
The show explores the time when Tom was finding his voice and musical style and shows him trying things out when he performed at working men’s clubs. There are songs by Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Kit said: “My favourite song to sing is What They Sang, which is a Jerry Lee Lewis song, it comes at the start of Act Two and it’s the beginning of where you get to see Tom come into his own musical style. The show has been going really well so far. We have been performing it to 2,000 people and we have had a standing ovation at the end.
“It is a show where you don’t have to be a Tom Jones fan, it is full of great music that you will recognise. It is the perfect show to have a little dance to as well.”
Tickets are available from £15. Call the box office on 0844 871 7607 or visit www.atgtickets.co.uk/aylesbury.