Tom Jones, with his golden vocals captured the hearts of women, including mine, for well over 50 years. At a banquet in Wales a stirring rendition of Delilah, a Tom Jones hit belted out with vigour by the regimental band of the Welsh Guards had the entire audience on its feet roaring approval, clapping and stamping.
As a lady’s man the actor Richard Burton was no slouch. He reached the pinnacle in his career in both live theatre and movies, and lured Elizabeth Taylor, the world’s most beautiful woman into his matrimonial net.
Catherine Zeta Jones, a quintessential Welsh beauty, also hails from Wales. Comfortable with the strange Welsh disinterest in celebrity, she’s quoted as saying, “In Wales it’s brilliant. I go to the pub and see everybody who I went to school with. And everybody goes ‘So what are you doing now?’ ‘Oh, I’m doing a film with Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins.’ And they go, ‘Ooh, good.’ And that’s it.
In the role of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins who studied at the Cardiff College of Music and Drama conjured up new ways to terrorize. His more gentle persona in Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Remains of the Day”attests to the versatility of this great Welsh actor.
Rebel Welsh poet Dylan Thomas was in his time a master of the spoken word. A brief extract from his famous tome “Under Milkwood” reveals a powerful talent. I imagine the lyrical prose of the man weaving a spell as he describes night in a small Welsh seaside town called Llareggub (reverse spelling “buggerall”).
In Thomas's words, “Listen. It is night in the chill, squat chapel, hymning in bonnet and brooch and bombazine black, butterfly choker and bootlace bow, coughing like nanny-goats, sucking mintoes, fortywinking hallelujah; night in the four-ale, quiet as a domino; in Ocky Milkman’s lofts like a mouse with gloves; in Dai Read’s bakery flying like black flour.
It is tonight in Donkey Street trotting silent, with seaweed on its hooves, along the cockled cobbles, past curtain, fernpot, text and trinket, harmonium, holy dresser, watercolours done by hand, china dog and rosy tin teacaddy. It is night neddying among the snuggeries of babies.”
Photo copyright Anne Gordon
Posted on Monday, 16th April, 2012