Contender The Musical The Story of Tommy Farr
 News Home Performance Dates  Synopsis  Audio - Sound Clips Cast and Characters Reviews Mal Pope


Synopsis continued...(page 4)


Tommy is taken to the heart of New York Life. Monty is worried that he's getting carried away with it all. He is a regular guest at the Cotton Club where the great and good mix with the Mafia bosses. An approach is made to Tommy to throw a fight.

MUSIC - Who's the Star
Song based on Cab Calloway, who played the Cotton Club, showing Tommy's standing and the people who now want a piece of him, first Mafia reference. (The lyrics are all drawn from Callaway's' Hipster's dictionary. There is a place for the theatre audience to become involve in the 'Minnie the Moocher' part).

Joby Churchill sends a telegram in Welsh saying come home you Bloody fool. He has seen through the system and realises Tommy can never beat the Americans on home turf. By returning to the UK Tommy will be in the driving seat again. As usual Tommy thinks he knows best. He is having far too good a time being a star.

Tommy Farr Card SignedTogether with Monty, Tommy travels to Hollywood. He loses his temper over a phone call. The man on the other end says he's Clarke Gable. Tommy thinks he's being made to look a fool. Monty says, 'this is Hollywood, why wouldn't it be Clarke Gable'. Tommy mixes with the Hollywood crowd, singing with Bing Crosby and playing golf with James Cagney.

Tommy gets the call to return to New York to fight

When he returns to New York there are more serious Mafia overtures. He is told to play the game, make lots of money and lose the next fight or be prepared to lose anyway. Monty encourages him saying she'll love him if he's a champion or not. There is no Joby Churchill in his corner. Joby is back in Tonypandy listening on the radio. He goes ahead with 2 fights only to lose on outrageous decisions. Feeling he can't beat the system he goes home to Britain.

Tommy returns to Britain a star. He even makes a record with George Formby! He is intent on continuing with his career but all that is stopped when war is declared. Tommy is declared unfit for active duty due to a number of boxing injuries but he does travel the country doing exhibitions. After the war he settles down, marries Monty and becomes the doting father of 3 children. As one business venture after another goes wrong he sinks into despair remembering the poverty of his childhood and the fear returns that what happened then might be about to happen to his family.

He keeps telling Monty he could beat any of the British Heavyweights around. Exasperated she tells him to either get back in the ring or just shut up about it. His first call is to Joby Churchill. He is told old boxers never come back but he'll still be there for him. Tommy goes into training and starts from the bottom again. He has tremendous support with up to 20,000 people turning up at Ninian Park to see him fight.

He is given a shot at the Welsh Heavyweight title, a title he had won 15 years previously. At the end of a great fight he is pronounced champion. Tommy takes the microphone from the announcer and leads the packed crowd in a rendition of 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau'. So ends the rise and fall, and rise again of one of the most famous British Boxers of the last century; the people's champion Tommy Farr.