Tom Jones International

Tom Jones Fansite

Hi, and Welcome to TomJonesInternational — the only Tom Jones site with content written by fans, for fans. TomJonesInternational.com is not a fan club. TJI.com is the only site that cares about ensuring that fans worldwide — not just in one country— are treated with the respect they deserve! As such, it is the largest site in the world — not official or connected to OFFICIALTomJones but, nonetheless, representing the interests of fans and of Sir Tom.

Tom Jones Tom Jones

Since 2005 this website has served as a gathering place and newsroom for fans of Tom Jones. Even though Sir Tom lives in the USA and, at the time the the site was created, was doing the majority of his appearances here, TJI.com was created in 2005 because at that time there were no US-based websites dedicated to Tom Jones, except a "fan club" site that only posts what the site managers find on his official site and, even that, is seldom updated.

Recognizing that it is fans — and only fans — whose support has kept Tom Jones' career going for decades, TJI.com was created with the intention that all fans would be treated with respect, as would Sir Tom. Site content — including comments — is to deal solely with Tom's professional, public life. Discussion of Sir Tom's personal life — except celebrations like birthdays — will not be tolerated. TJI.com was created with the express intent of being an elegant companion to the OFFICIAL TomJones.com site.Please be sure to read the site rules before you post. These rules are strictly enforced in order to keep discussion fun and civil.

With the hope that you will enjoy TomJonesInternational and contribute your thoughts and ideas (contact info at bottom right) TJI looks forward to many more years of serving the worldwide Tom Jones fan community.

- Ellen

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Sir Tom & Lady Linda Enjoy Leisure Time in Los Angeles

Nice, rare photos below. But, in 2009, I was with some other fans when we asked Sir Tom if he’s planning on leaving the US. His answer was emphatic: “No! I love it there!” So, the Daily Mail is wrong.


She’s His Lady! Tom Jones spends quality time with wife Melinda at home in LA before hitting the road for three months of touring

By Marc Andrews | Published: 02:16 EST, 29 May 2014 | Updated: 02:17 EST, 29 May 2014 | Mail Online

Taking it easy: Tom Jones and wife Melinda getting their chores done in LA Photo:Splash News

Taking it easy: Tom Jones and wife Melinda getting their chores done in LA
Photo: Splash News

He starts his UK/European tour on June 7 in Chesterfield and is on the road solidly for the following three months over summer, so it’s little surprise Tom Jones has of late been taking it easy at home with wife Melinda.

Dressed simply in blue jeans and a long-sleeved blue T-shirt, 73-year-old Tom not only had his designer sunglasses on, but also his reading glasses hanging around his neck as he and his wife went about their chores in the city they call home, Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The Voice star was spotted holding on tight to Melinda, who he married all the way back in 1957.

Melinda was keeping the harsh Californian sun off her head with a wife brimmed hat, dark sunglasses and dark pants and top. While Tom was still ready to rock in some blue suede shoes, Melinda was rolling in more casual style with a pair of comfy flip-flops. Although Tom said in 2009 that he planned to move back to the UK that didn’t seem to eventuate.

Blue Suede Shoes: Tom was rocking his footwear in LA with wife Melinda, Photo: Splash News
[/caption]While Tom still makes frequent visits to the UK, especially off the back of his Voice duties when the show is in season, it appears that he and Melinda are content to continue residing in LA for the time being.

He starts his UK/European tour on June 7 in Chesterfield and is on the road solidly for the following three months over summer, so it’s little surprise Tom Jones has of late been taking it easy at home with wife Melinda.

Dressed simply in blue jeans and a long-sleeved blue T-shirt, 73-year-old Tom not only had his designer sunglasses on, but also his reading glasses hanging around his neck as he and his wife went about their chores in the city they call home, Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The Voice star was spotted holding on tight to Melinda, who he married all the way back in 1957.

Melinda was keeping the harsh Californian sun off her head with a wife brimmed hat, dark sunglasses and dark pants and top. While Tom was still ready to rock in some blue suede shoes, Melinda was rolling in more casual style with a pair of comfy flip-flops.

Taking it easy: Tom Jones and wife Melinda getting their chores done in LA

Tom and Melinda have lived in the US for 40 years now since they moved there in 1974 to avoid paying a high rate of tax.

Although Tom said in 2009 that he planned to move back to the UK that didn’t seem to eventuate.

While Tom still makes frequent visits to the UK, especially off the back of his Voice duties when the show is in season, it appears that he and Melinda are content to continue residing in LA for the time being.
June 7 is not only the start of Sir Tom’s summer tour through the UK and Europe but also the date that he celebrates his 74th birthday.

As part of the tour the Welsh crooner will also strut his legendary stuff on stage at the British Summer Time festival.

The Sexbomb singer, whose stage charisma has seen female fans throw their underwear at him for years, is to the headline the annual Barclaycard festival at London’s Hyde Park on 13 July.

Blue Suede Shoes: Tom was rocking his footwear in LA with wife Melinda, Photo: Splash News

Blue Suede Shoes: Tom was rocking his footwear in LA with wife Melinda, Photo: Splash News

He will be supported by Irish boyband Boyzone, former X Factor winners Little Mix, Seventies rock band 10cc and tribute band Bootleg Beatles.

Tom said that he is ‘honoured’ to be playing at the event.

‘I love playing in Hyde Park, it’s such a beautiful place and so many of the greats have played there,’ he declared.

‘There is a real sense of musical history and a fantastic atmosphere that comes with playing in the middle of a great London park on a wonderful summer evening.’

Sir Tom, whose last album Spirit in the Room was released in 2012, is also due to join Sir Cliff Richard in support of Morrissey on two arena dates in the US later this year.

Meanwhile, Boyzone have tweeted their delight saying they were ‘excited’ at joining the white-haired star in Hyde Park before embarking on a UK tour in celebration of their 20th anniversary.

They added: ‘There’s no bigger gig than Hyde Park and no better day out than playing British Summer Time alongside Sir Tom Jones.’

Little Mix said in a statement: ‘Wow, Hyde Park – so many amazing artists have played there and to be on a line up with Sir Tom Jones is a true honour.

‘We can’t wait to see all The Mixers in the summer sun. And it’s Perrie’s 21st birthday a few days before, so we will be celebrating in style.’

Sir Tom is expected to continue with his duties on The Voice for the BBC once the tour finishes and the show is back on the air.

TJI’s Traditional USA Memorial Day Post

Let us never forget those who fought and those who gave their lives for our nation!

Today, Monday May 27, is Memorial Day in the United States.

The holiday was first celebrated after the Civil War in Charleston, South Carolina (a beautiful city!) in 1865 by former slaves to honor the Union soldiers who fought for their freedom. The celebration – then known as Decoration Day – spread. In 1866 it was first celebrated nationally. The date of May 30th was chosen because there had never been a battle on that day. After World War I the commemoration was extended to honor all Americans who had died fighting for their country and was called Memorial Day. Marking the traditional beginning of summer, Memorial Day is a three-day weekend in the US. Memorial Day and Independence Day are the two times when there are traditionally parades in just about every town in the nation.

A great deal of music came out of the Civil War. Some songs, like Julia Ward Howe’s Battle Hymn of the Republic, were written especially for the war. Others were adaptations of traditional music.

Mickey Newbury was a songwriter who, among other songs that Tom recorded, wrote Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings and Weeping Annaleah. In 1972 he put together An American Trilogy, a three-song compilation of music closely associated with the American Civil War. This trilogy was made up of Dixie, a song from the blackface minstrel shows that became the marching song of the Confederate Army; Battle Hymn of the Republic written by Julia Ward Howe and, finally, the haunting spiritual-like All My Trials, a song that began as a lullaby in the Bahamas that was adopted by slaves as a melody to describe their lives.

We have another fine example of a Civil War song here. During the folk song craze of the 1960s, Joan Baez had a popular recording of this very beautiful, very sad song. It was also recorded by Tom Jones on the Green Green Grass of Home album in 1967. Click here to listen to Tom sing Two Brothers.

Click here to listen to Tom Jones, live with the Edmonton Symphony in 1975 sing An American Trilogy live. (Notice that he still says “Naish-ville.” He must enjoy speaking that word:))

Video Of Under Milk Wood Available For You; A Good Man Doing Something Good

Sir Tom as Captain Cat gazing at the gorgeous London skyline in Under Milk Wood.

Sir Tom as Captain Cat gazing at the gorgeous London skyline in Under Milk Wood.

Sir Tom as Captain Cat gazing at the gorgeous Welsh scenery in Under Milk Wood.[/caption]A wonderful, generous fan in the UK sent TJI a video of the BBC production of Under Milk Wood, Dylan Thomas’ “play for voices” (radio play).

In promoting it they said it is “A unique one-off television production of Dylan Thomas’s famous ‘play for voices’ performed by a community of Welsh talent in New York, Los Angeles, London, Cardiff and Laugharne. Michael Sheen opens as First Voice, Sir Tom Jones as Captain Cat and as each of Dylan’s iconic characters joins in, the piece builds up into a collage of famous voices and faces (including Matthew Rhys, Ioan Gruffudd, Siân Phillips, Jonathan Pryce, Bryn Terfel and Katherine Jenkins) intercut with evocative imagery inspired by the play and created as part of a live event by National Theatre Wales.”

It’s a beautiful work filmed beautifully.

If you’d like the video sent to you, please click the contact link in the sidebar at right. It will be sent via www.wetransfer.com.

Please do so no later than Wednesday!


benefit top

Steve McCoy, the world’s best Tom Jones tribute artist is returning home to New Jersey to perform a benefit for people who are still without what they lost in Hurricane Sandy, the super storm that hit in October 2012. The region is still in need of a great deal of help.

It will take place Sunday, May 18, from 2 pm to 6 pm. at the American Legion Hall in Toms River, New Jersey.

The cost per ticket is $25 and it promises to be a grand time for a great cause.

For information and tickets, please call:
732/921/8872.

And be sure to say hi to Steve.

Tonight in Tucson; Tomorrow In San Diego, Saturday, LA: How Was This 10-City US Tour?

Here at home (and, yes, the USA is Sir Tom’s home at the moment), Tom has done very well, winning fine reviews. Below is a real good one from Dallas:

Tom Jones helps us invent a new genre of hip shakers, “sexyback boomer”

By Joy Tipping/Staff Writer | Dallas Morning News

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 11.15.06 AM

Two moods seemed to permeate the crowd at the Tom Jones concert on Saturday night at Dallas’ Granada Theater: one, pure ecstasy; the other, slightly disappointed, but pretty euphoric nonetheless.

The reaction could be summed up by comments I overheard leaving the 90-minute show, which played to a sold-out crowd of 1,000. The huge contingency of women “of a certain age,” and at 53 I include myself in that batch, were ever-so-slightly hurt that Jones didn’t do more of his old hits; he focused more on a smartly curated set of tunes that felt more contemporary. This is not a star who’s content to play his same set list from 30 or 40 years ago.

We got the No. 1 smashes “It’s Not Unusual, Green, Green Grass of Home” and the crowdpleaser (love! jealousy! murder!) “Delilah,” and a few others (inlcuding superb renditions of Tom Waits’ “Bad As Me” and the movie theme “Thunderball,” but no “What’s New Pussycat,” no “She’s a Lady” or “Help Yourself” (my favorite, and I’m a little crushed, Tom). A few disappointed women soothed their souls with a lively singalong of “What’s New Pussycat” in the restroom after the show.

The other comments, heard considerably more frequently (at least by me) were like that of the guy who gushed, “I feel like I did when we walked out of that Elvis Presley concert. It’s a dream. We got to see him.”

At 73, you might think Jones would consider slowing down. But given the charisma and still-amazing baritone the Welsh prince of wails brought to his 90-minute set, I’d put him up against any of today’s generation of pop-rock stars in terms of talent and energy, and expect him to almost universally come out ahead.

In fact, with respect to Justin Timberlake, I’m calling dibs on inventing a new genre for the early baby boomers and pre-boomers such as Jones who just can’t stop those hips from moving (and yes, underwear did fly onto the stage at frequent intervals). I’m calling it “sexyback boomer,” as in, they may be from “back when,” but they still bring the erotic heat to whatever they do. Add Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mick Jagger and Neil Diamond to the sexyback list (#sexybackboomer).

Jones’ opener was Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song,” which includes the lyrics, “I was born like this, I had no choice, I was born with the gift of a golden voice.” Jones brought both the tower of song — with tunes from the rock, pop, gospel, soul and country catalogues — and the dazzling voice to brilliant life on Saturday.

I didn’t think you could get a standing ovation from a standing-tickets-only crowd, but the audience at the Granada managed it several times. They arched high on tiptoes and raised their arms to signify the love. And that, my friends, defines sexyback boomer.

Review From Tuesday In Birmingham; Videos From Atlanta & Nashville

Despite not-always-the-best audio, these are solid,fun videos:

Thanks to the fan who sent this photo.

Thanks to the fan who sent this photo.

Tom Jones flexes his still-golden pipes at Iron City
From AL.com
By Jeremy Burgess | April 30, 2014
Tom Jones at Iron City Tuesday night. Four out of five stars.

Anybody who does anything for more than a half-century would expect to lose some of that skill over the course of time.

This, however, is not the case with Tom Jones and his majestic, seductive vocal cords.

The Birmingham crowd probably knew that, too. Because when the iconic Welsh singer came to Iron City, the nearly-sold-out crowd was there for more than just nostalgia (or the donating of unwanted undergarments).

Jones and company hit the stage at 9:10, kicking off with Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song” – an appropriate opener for an Alabama crowd, considering the allusion to Hank Williams.

The music legend didn’t show his age one bit out of the gate – a young 73 years old, Jones was interacting with the crowd and belting out notes like he’d discovered the Fountain of Youth.

“Birmingham, Alabama,” he addressed the crowd a few songs in. “I love the way that sounds. I’ve been to Birmingham before, you know. And hopefully I’ll be here again.”

Jones’ backing band was a mere four members – guitar, bass, keys and drums. For a singer whose records often employ horn sections, string arrangements and gospel choirs, their live sound was notably different from what fans might’ve expected.

Still, the singer played through reconfigured versions of plenty of hits, including “Thunderball,” “Delilah” and “(It Looks Like) I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” – and since Jones’ voice is the obvious centerpiece, they pulled it off quite well.

Part of the mystique of a Tom Jones show is his choice of covers, and last night was no disappointment. Along with the Cohen number, Jones played his way through Tom Waits’ “Bad As Me,” Hank Williams’ “Why Don’t You Love Me,” his notable version of Johnny Darrell’s “Green Green Grass of Home” (which he discovered through Jerry Lee Lewis’ recording) and a rendition of the folk ballad “Run On,” a song that Jones used to sing with Elvis Presley in his hotel rooms, as he told the crowd.

Jones also played a handful of tracks from his forthcoming album (including the Williams cover). While the crowd response to the new material was moderate, the tunes showed that he still had a wide range of genre capabilities.

After twenty songs, Jones and his band quietly left the stage for a moment before returning for a four-song encore that included another Lewis track in “End of the Road,” an excellent cover of Prince’s “Kiss” and a stripped-down version of “It’s Not Unusual” that featured accordion.

Despite Jones’ assurance earlier in the night that he was going to “play it all,” there were a few disappointing omissions from the 100-minute set, including “She’s A Lady” and “What’s New Pussycat?”

And though the Iron City stage isn’t exactly the size of a Las Vegas theater, it would’ve been nice to see a bigger musical arrangement to give Jones a fuller, more layered sound.

But at the end of the day, fans came to see Jones sing. And he’s still got it – to a surprising extent.

Some things never change. Tom Jones will always have a resplendent voice. And women will always throw their bras and panties at him.


Austin Ticket Giveaway
The BookPeople blog invites you to Win tickets to see Tom in Austin Friday night

It’s not unusual…. for a bookseller to spin a little Tom Jones every now and then. Or to give away tickets to see Tom Jones perform at the Moody Theater this Friday, May 2 at 7pm, when the Welsh born superstar will be presenting a selection of songs that include iconic hits as well as tracks from his critically acclaimed albums ‘Spirit In The Room’ and Praise & Blame’. Which is what we’re doing!

It’s also not unusual to love books! To enter: Tell us the last book you read and loved, and why you loved it, and we’ll enter you into a random drawing to win two tickets to see Tom Jones Friday night!

Please note: An email address must be provided in order to enter. Comments submitted without valid email addresses will not be eligible. Winner will be drawn at random and notified via the email address provided. Entrants will be added to BookPeople’s event mailing list.

Event Details:

WHO: Tom Jones
WHERE: ACL-Live at the Moody Theater
WHEN: Friday, May 2nd at 8pm
Tickets & More info: http://goo.gl/zhoNvn

Good Luck!

Set List From Nashville; Review From Atlanta

Steve very kindly sent TJI the set list from Atlanta last night. Not sure what Crazy Bout an Automobile is, but the rest seems to be what has developed into a standard setlist:

Tower of Song; Hit or Miss; Why Don’t You Love Me; Raise a Ruckus Tonight; Strange Things; Dimming of the Day; Bad As Me; Delilah; Burning Hell; If I Give My Soul; Don’t Knock; Til My Back Ain’t Got No Bone; Lord Help; Soul of a Man; Run On; Ddin’t It Rain; Green Green Grass of Home; I’ll Never Fall In Love Again; Thunderball; I Wish You Would
ENCORE: It’s Not Unusual; Kiss; Crazy Bout an Automobile (w/ Reelin and Rockin); End of the Road

Photo from AccessAtlanta and the credit looks as if the writer, Melissa Ruggieri, took it.

Photo from AccessAtlanta and the credit looks as if the writer, Melissa Ruggieri, took it.

From Access Atlanta comes this review by Melissa Ruuggiri:

Concert review: Tom Jones revisits his roots at Atlanta Symphony Hall

Early in his set Monday night, Tom Jones complained that the sound in his monitors was “wooly.”

For the first hour of his nearly two-hour performance at Atlanta Symphony Hall, the renowned Welsh-man expressed continued irritation that he couldn’t hear himself.

It’s unfortunate that Jones couldn’t feel settled behind his microphone because from the audience’s side, he sounded magnificent.

In a recent interview with the AJC, the man known as catnip to his legions of female admirers reiterated how his musical interests have, for many years now, expanded beyond the pop standards that made him an icon and lie in more traditional forms of music, such as gospel and blues.

During his Monday show – one of only a handful he’s doing in the U.S. the next few weeks – Jones and his taut four-piece band see-sawed from rockabilly blues (“Strange Things”) to melancholy lullabies (“Dimming of the Day”) to the beautiful amalgamation of country, gospel and soul on Billy Joe Shaver’s “If I Give My Soul.”

Through them all, Jones’ voice was warm and robust, with just a hint of grit adding shading and character.

While this show in no way resembled the glossy rock-oriented hits parades of his legendary casino runs, Jones didn’t completely abandon the engaging sing-alongs that helped build his career as a heartthrob.

Indeed, at the slightest twitch of his hips, the large contingent of women in the nearly sold-out crowd turned on the shrieks. It didn’t matter that Jones recast the swaying “Delilah” as a slightly dark, slinky song – these ladies were intent on enjoying their Jones classic (and he obliged with a massively held note at song’s end).

As the show unfolded, Jones, who turns 74 in June, became more chatty and animated. He shared an amusing story of Elvis Presley singing to him in the shower at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and expressed his appreciation of Symphony Hall (“This is a beautiful place you’ve got here,” he noted).

He also turned cheeky when telling the audience: “People say to me, is show biz hard work? I haven’t worked since 1962 when (I used to) carry bricks…compared to carrying bricks, it’s a piece of cake – but only when the sound is right.”

Bazinga.

Jones revisited his 2010 album, “Praise & Blame” with the traditional folk song, “Run On,” which he sprinkled with gospel and dedicated to Presley and regaled fans with the still-beautiful “Green, Green Grass of Home,” featuring lightly picked guitar and delicate upright bass.

With plenty of familiar songs still left to play, Jones didn’t disappoint during an encore that included “It’s Not Unusual” – with an accordion and shaker replacing the song’s sprightly horns – and his beloved cover of Prince’s “Kiss,” this time fitted with a rustic groove and cool lounge vibe.

Throughout a nearly 50-year career, Jones has been many things – a pop crooner, a tight-trousered hunk, a Vegas staple and a legitimate song interpreter.

Through them all, he’s always provided that incomparable voice and a wealth of authenticity.

Tom At The Ryman in Nashville April 27

Welsh sex symbol Tom Jones belts his way through "Flashdance" to the whoops and cheers of the largely female audience during his sold-out concert March 13, 1984, at the Grand Ole Opry House.  Billy Easley / The Tennessean

Welsh sex symbol Tom Jones belts his way through “Flashdance” to the whoops and cheers of the largely female audience during his sold-out concert March 13, 1984, at the Grand Ole Opry House. Billy Easley / The Tennessean

Welsh sex symbol Tom Jones belts his way through "Flashdance" to the whoops and cheers of the largely female audience during his sold-out concert March 13, 1984, at the Grand Ole Opry House.  Billy Easley / The Tennessean

Welsh sex symbol Tom Jones belts his way through “Flashdance” to the whoops and cheers of the largely female audience during his sold-out concert March 13, 1984, at the Grand Ole Opry House. Billy Easley / The Tennessean

News From Naashville:
Fan/friend Barb Scherrer was at the Ryman last night and sent the note below: The photos are from a March 13, 1984 concert at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville as none from last night was available.

Note From Nashville:
Ellen,

Just got back from the Nashville show. There was an “opening act”, Lucie Silvas, who is originally from London and a very talented singer. She was on stage for a half hour and then a short intermission before Tom came out.

Tom’s voice sounded fabulous and he looked terrific. Seemed like he was having a great time. He was on stage for almost two hours. Most of his songs were from his last two albums (CDs). He did sing a few of his old hits — Delilah (new version), Green Green Grass of Home, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, Thunderball (Sung faster — Tom called it a “rock ‘n roll” version), It’s Not Unusual, and Kiss.

The show was great, but I still miss the Vegas shows!!

Barb

Thanks to Barb. If anyone has photos and the set list, please send!

If you’re going to see Tom in Birmingham, Alabama Tuesday night, please be very careful. No concert — even Tom’s — is worth risking getting caught in a tornado. Surely he’d say that, too.

Tom Begins Eight Gig Tour in the USA

Sir Tom finally returns to the USA this weekend, beginning a run of nine dates between tomorrow and May 7. There are tickets available as of this posting for each show.

If you go to any shows, please send a review as a comment. Photos welcome, too.

Have a grand time!


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• Sunday, April 27th 2014 Nashville Ryman Theater

• Monday, April 28th 2014 Atlanta Symphony Hall

• Tuesday, April 29th 2014 Birmingham, Alabama Iron City with “special guest” Lucie Silvas

• Wednesday, April 30th 2014 New Orleans House of Blues

• Friday, May 2nd 2014 Texas ACL LIVE at The Moody Theater

• Saturday, May 3rd 2014 Dallas Granada Theater

• Sunday, May 4th 2014 Houston House Of Blues

• Wednesday, May 7th 2014 Tucson Rialto Theatre

• Thursday, May 8th 2014 San Diego House of Blues (with Aussie singer Lee Coulter in support)

Tom Acting Again With Amazing Talents

Moderator’s Note: My absence was occasioned by — you know this if you see me on Facebook — the birth of Dylan Clara, my daughter, Ruth’s, child on March 18. While I apologize for the long delay, I cannot say I’m sorry. I went to NY to see mother and child and had no computer there (long story). So, TJI is back.


Captain Cat, Tom’s character in Under Milk Wood, is described by IMDB as “blind and tormented.” Also in the “play for voices” will be Michael Sheen, Sian Phillips (actor and widow of the great Peter O’Toole), Matthew Rhys, John Rhys Davies, Jonathan Pryce, Ioan Gruffudd and opera star Bryn Terfel. The play was first broadcast 60 years ago.

Under Milk Wood: Tom Jones plays Captain Cat and Katherine Jenkins is Polly Garter in new TV adaptation
Wales Online | Apr 17, 2014 06:00 | By Karen Price

They are among a number of famous names taking part in the Dylan Thomas centenary celebrations

Tom Jones as Captain Cat, Michael Sheen as First Voice, Katherine Jenkins as Polly Garter, Bryn Terfel as Reverend Eli Jenkins and Jonathan Pryce and Sian Phillips as Mr and Mrs Pugh – could there be a more exciting wish-list for Under Milk Wood?

Add Matthew Rhys, Charlotte Church, Aneurin Barnard, Eve Myles and Robert Pugh – as well as a host of others – into the mix, along with a dollop of modern-day technology, and you get a new star-studded, cutting-edge version of Dylan Thomas’ ‘play for voices’.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 12.05.22 PMBut this is no fantasy. These stars of the acting and music worlds have teamed up for an hour-long TV adaptation about the colourful characters from the fictional fishing town of Llareggub.

And executive producer Bethan Jones says they were only too keen to get on board and become part of BBC Cymru Wales’ centenary celebrations for the Swansea-born poet.

“We just thought, ‘ Who are the people we’d love to work with on this?’ and just went for it,” she says. “We were asking them as part of the Dylan Thomas centenary and they felt they wanted to be involved. Those who were not available were really disappointed.”

While some asked if they could perform certain roles – Sheen wanted to deliver the famous opening lines, for example – others were more than happy with the parts they were offered.

“We asked Tom Jones to do Captain Cat and we were really thrilled when he said yes, it was the icing on the cake. He’s fabulous and there’s a real humour. We also asked Bryn Terfel to do Eli Jenkins. The reverend delivers the beautiful Sunset Poem which I know Bryn has sung in the past so it was a no brainer to ask him to do it.”

Under Milk Wood was filmed in a wealth of locations, including Laugharne, New York, Los Angeles, London, and Cardiff, and the focus is on the words, with the cast delivering their lines up close to the cameras and directly to the audience. There are no sets, props or costumes.

“It’s almost like a no frills version which is really concentrating on the text,” says Ms Jones. “There’s a real sense of love and enjoyment in the words. There are some beautiful performances. The cameras are very close up to the actors so they are delivering the words straight to you. You’re hearing sections of text you almost didn’t know existed.”

Directed by Pip Broughton and also starring Ioan Gruffudd, Alexandra Roach and Iwan Rheon, the film is also a celebration of 21st century technology with some of the cast delivering their lines via Skype and others using their mobiles to film performances. It features Dylan’s favourite watering holes from both sides of the Atlantic, with Matthew Rhys delivering his words (as one of the narrators) at the White Horse Tavern in New York and Aimee-Ffion Edwards (another narrator) based at Brown’s in Laugharne.

As each of the iconic characters joins in, the piece builds up into a collage of famous voices and faces.

Under Milk Wood is the first collaboration between BBC Cymru Wales and National Theatre Wales and woven into the dialogue will be evocative imagery created in Laugharne as part of NTW’s live performance, Raw Material: Llareggub Revisited, which will take place during the May Bank Holiday weekend. And audiences watching the live performances will get a preview of the film – which will be broadcast on May 5, just hours after the final NTW show – when snippets are screened.

While there have been countless performances of Under Milk Wood, Ms Jones hopes the new film will introduce it to a new generation thanks to the cast list and use of new technology – and entice those who may not think it’s for them.

“We’ve got a real cross section of performers– big stars like Tom Jones, Michael Sheen, Matthew Rhys, Jonathan Pryce and Sian Phillips, and those who are young and at the start of their careers like Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Aneurin Barnard and Craig Roberts.” So would Dylan approve?

“I hope so – we’re using technology and a sense of the love of the words so I think it would appeal to him.”

The Voice UK Season Finale Complete & Tom Duets With His Finalist Sally Barker On “Walking in Memphis”

It’s all over now….here’s Tom duetting with his finalist and, at the end, the winner is announced.