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Old Monmothian starring as Tom Jones in hit musical

March 4th, 2016

Kit Orton as Tom JonesIt’s Not Unusual for boys from Monmouth School to forge successful careers when they leave.

And one charismatic Old Monmothian, who just happens to be a natural Sex Bomb, has proved this point by landing his dream role in the theatre – again.

West End star Kit Orton will be stepping into the shoes of his idol, Welsh legend Tom Jones, to play the man himself in a biographical musical.

It will be the second time Newport-born Kit, 33, has taken on this ambitious job, having performed the lead role in Tom: A Story of Tom Jones when it premiered in Pontypridd in 2014.

The hit show is being revived for a major UK tour, kicking off with shows at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff between March 7 and 12.

Kit, who bravely took on the only male part in Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls’ production of The King and I in 2000, is thrilled to be reprising the role of Mr Jones.

He told us: “It was an incredible experience being part of this show in 2014, and this time around it’s going to be even bigger and better. Roles like this don’t come around often – this one just jumped out at me. It was scary, but more exciting than anything, playing Tom in his hometown. The reaction from the audience was amazing and we always had positive feedback. The show tells the story of his earlier years – he was very different when he was younger. He was a bit rockier, less soulful, and influenced by Elvis. His voice is one of a kind.”

Luckily, singing in the style of Tom Jones had been a party trick of Kit’s for a long time.

“When my agent called about the audition, I had already been singing It’s Not Unusual in karaoke bars for year,” he said.

“It was meant to be.”

The musical is set in the 60s and tells Tom’s story of self-belief and determination as he rises to fame, featuring plenty of the star’s hits like Delilah, Green, Green Grass of Home and What’s New Pussycat?

As one of the only boys in his year group to be passionate about drama, Kit spent a lot of time at HMSG taking part in their productions.

Ironically, Monmouth’s own Blake Theatre, was built just after he left the School.

“I was gutted!” Kit, who has also starred in Monty Python’s Spamalot in London, added. It was literally a year after I left that I drove past and saw the theatre. It’s really good to see that drama and performing arts have better facilities at the School now though.”

The talented actor, and founder of 30s and 40s-style male vocal quartet FlyBoys, loves the creativity and variety of working as an actor.

He said: “Funny things do happen on stage. Once when I was in Spamalot I couldn’t remember my lines for love nor money, but I made a joke of it and the audience loved it.

“Nothing’s gone wrong in Tom yet, although the cast played tricks on me all the time in the last run, because they know I get the giggles easily.

“There’s a serious scene where Tom and his wife look into a pram and hug each other, and more often than not there’d be something stupid in it.

“Once there was a pizza instead of a baby, and another time the baby had a moustache drawn on it and I nearly lost it. The audience never knew though.”

Click here for more information or to buy tickets for the Cardiff shows.

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