Mal Pope’s hit musical about the life of legendary heavyweight boxer Tommy Farr is coming to Treorchy – and auditions are imminent for local young performers to join the cast.
As part of the centenary celebrations of the Park & Dare Theatre, ‘Contender’ is being staged by Grand Slam Productions and RCT Theatres in September 2013.
This will be a youth theatre production of the musical which celebrates the life of another Rhondda centenarian as Tommy Farr was born in 1913, the same year as the opening of the landmark Treorchy theatre. The show is being part-funded by the Arts Council of Wales and Grand Slam Productions.
Now the search is on for principal roles and chorus, in the hope that plenty of young people from the County Borough will come forward and audition.
The first auditions will be held in the Park & Dare Theatre on Saturday 6th July for the principal roles and Saturday 13th July for other roles and chorus.
The production will also require young people to work behind the scenes and perform as musicians in the band.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Leisure and Tourism C’llr Robert Bevan said, “Tommy Farr remains a legend in the boxing fraternity and we are proud to call him a son of the Rhondda which is why it’s so important that this production is staged in the Park & Dare Theatre.
“Not only will it thrill and entertain the audiences themselves, but also provide a wonderful opportunity for young talent from throughout the County Borough to audition for parts in the production and shine.
“I’m sure this will be another huge success in the centenary calendar of the Treorchy theatre and look forward very much to seeing the life of a great Rhondda sportsman brought alive on stage in the valley of his birth.”
From the boxing booths of the Rhondda to a World Title fight against Joe Louis at Yankee Stadium, ‘Contender’ is the rags to riches story of Tommy Farr, one of the bravest men to enter the ring. Tommy was one of the most famous Welsh and British boxers. Born in Clydach Vale, and nicknamed “the Tonypandy Terror”, he became British and Empire heavyweight champion.
He made his fortune in America, but World War I and a series of personal tragedies left him penniless. With a young family and mounting debts there was only one way out – at the age of 37 he got back into the ring. The World Title fight is still spoken of 75 years later and although the outcome remains controversial, Tommy is remembered as one of the greatest British heavyweight fighters of all time.
‘Contender’ will be staged at the Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy from Thursday 19th September to Saturday 21st. Further details will be available from www.rct-arts.co.uk, and those wishing to audition should call 01443 775654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org