These days, you could be forgiven for thinking all musicians achieve fame and success after a few performances on a TV talent show.
The Tom Jones story is a grittier saga, involving years of struggle and poverty before eventually achieving global stardom.
Tom: A Story of Tom Jones, the latest musical by Theatr Na Nog, follows the iconic Welsh superstar and his teenage wife Linda in their younger days.
They have a baby while living in a basement room in Linda’s mother’s house.
With Linda’s recent death, these early scenes offer a poignant insight into the couple’s young relationship and the sacrifices they made as Tom sang in Pontypridd clubs and pubs, before moving with his band The Senators to London.
Living in a bedsit on £1 a day, the band are reduced to stealing milk from doorsteps before Tom eventually gets the big break he was so hungry for, with his song It’s Not Unusual.
The track shot to the top of the charts and catapulted Tom into another life, one filled with fame, fortune and success.
The Venue Cymru audience were swaying in their seats long before the grand finale, when they took to the aisles to dance.
Kit Ortan as Tom had big shoes to fill, but put in a superb performance, as did Elin Pillips as Linda.
It was a great, feel-good evening - apart from the slightly disconcerting sight of my elderly parents dancing and singing along to Sex Bomb.
Like everyone else in the theatre, from what I could see, I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastic musical.
Tom: A Story of Tom Jones is still touring. Visit tomthemusical.com.
See full story in the Free Press