|1964 - 1966||History||At RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic
Note some of the plays below while at RADA were not full plays but sections from plays.
Gareth (Horizon NL#21): I actually got into acting by accident. I decided I wanted to carry on being a student, and I thought: well, I can't paint, so I'll try acting. I went back to one of my teachers at school who'd been in charge of drama, etc., and asked if he would coach me. I then auditioned for RADA, which was then the only drama school I knew existed in those days! I got into RADA, and one day halfway through the two year course, I was coming downstairs and found myself thinking: I quite like this game, it's rather fun! I then decided that as long as I could cope with my responsibilities financially, I might as well carry on acting. I've been fairly lucky, so I've kept going. But that was how I got in. Purely by accident, because I decided I wanted to go on being a student, and then was lucky enough to get into drama school.
Gareth (FCG#7): One of the teachers who was teaching so-called "technique"... There were sixteen people in the class, and he gave each of us a different Shakespeare speech, and he said to me, "During the course of the speech, Gareth, I want you to go away, learn it, work at it, come back, do it for me, and during the course of the speech I want you to stand on your head against the wall there, I want you to pick up this chair by the leg, I want you to walk three times down there, I want you to pick your nose," and various other things. We all sat there, "What's this?" However, when you're students, you go and you do what you're told. So we worked hard at our speeches, we came back and we did them. I did my speech, found a place where I thought it would be reasonable for Hamlet too actually do a handstand against the wall, picked up the chair, walked around and did everything else and he criticised: "That worked for me, that didn't work for me," and at the end of about three days, when we had all done our speeches, he said, "I dare say all of you are wondering what the fuck I've been doing. What a damned silly exercise! Well, I'll tell you what I've been doing. If you can make me belive all those damn silly things I asked you to do, you go out to the professional theatre, and anything any director ever asked you to do, you could make it work, and there aren't many people who can do that." That was the most valuable lesson I learned at RADA. If a diector tells me "On that word, I want you to move over there," I may disagree with him, I may argue, but I can make it work.
Stephen Grief (Blake's 7 the Inside Story): On the first day (at RADA), we were given a talk by the principal, then were told "Now you're starting your first term, and just to explain to you how things go here, somebody from the fourth term is going to give you a talk." In walked this guy with a beard, wearing a leotard; a very bouncy, smiley, jokey guy who put us at our ease right away, who said "Hello, my name is Gareth Thomas." He made all of us feel extremely relaxed and laughed and joked like we were part of a big club, and went through the general points of what we were to do in our first term. Then he got up and said goodbye, and we all felt very much at ease. I'll never forget that, and Gareth and I have remained good friends ever since.
Gareth talking to the Edinburgh News:"In my first theatre production my big scene involved walking on stage and opening a door for somebody. "I walked on to the stage, opened the door . . . and it came off its hinges. So at the end of my first ever professional stage appearance I had to pick up the door and walk off stage with it."
Note he was there for 7 terms spanning 1964 to 1966 we are not yet sure which are in which year.
|1964 (1st Term)||Theatre||The Winter's Tale While at RADA.
He played The Shepherd and 2nd Lord.|
|1964 (2nd Term)||Theatre||Othello While at RADA.
He played Iago and Roderigo.|
|1964 (2nd Term)||Theatre||Tons of Money While at RADA. He played Aubrey Allington and Jiles|
|1965 (3rd Term)||Theatre||Twelfth Night While at RADA.
He played Feste, the clown and The Sea Captain.|
He mentioned Feste in Twelfth Night although it was his portrayal of the Sea Captain which was singled out for particular praise - according to the records of RADA.
|1965 (3rd Term)||Theatre||Where Angels Fear To Tread While at RADA. He played Gino Carella and Philip Henton|
|1965 (4th Term)||Theatre||The Way Of The World While at RADA. he played Witword.|
|1965 (4th Term)||Theatre||Ivanov While at RADA. He played the second guest|
|1965 (4th Term)||Theatre||The Beggar's Opera While at RADA. He played Crook-Fingered Jack and the Turnkey|
|1965 (5th Term)||Theatre||Romeo and Juliet While at RADA. He played Benvolio.|
|1965 (5th Term)||Theatre||St Joan Playing
"Mgr de la Tremouille". While at RADA. He also gave the Epilogue.|
|1965 (5th Term)||Theatre||Hamlet While at RADA.
Gareth talking to Ken Armstrong in Blake's 7 magazine: I was playing the part of Laertes, working up to the big sword-fight where Laertes dies. The actor duelling with me lost part of the end of his blade, meaning his sword was six inches shorter than normal... and the rubber bung placed on tip for safety was also missing. As this happened in a flurry of sword blades, the audience did did not know a piece had broken off. By accident the now sharp blade grazed me and caused just a little bleeding.
The dramatic part happened, though, when I fell back on stage with the sword apparently in me. A woman in the front row stared at me, saw the sword was shorter than normal and that I was actually bleeding a little. She obviously thought the sword had really gone through me... and had a fit of hysterics! There, I thought to myself... I'm really getting through to the audience!
|1966 (6th Term)||Theatre||A Night Out While at RADA. He played Sidney|
|1966 (6th Term)||Theatre||Look After Julie While at RADA. He played Valery|
|1966 (6th Term)||Theatre||Live Like Pigs While at RADA.
He played Black Mouth.|
|1966 (6th Term)||Theatre||No No Nanette While at RADA.
He was in the chorus.|
|1966 (7th Term)||Theatre||Measure for Measure While training as an actor at RADA, he played Angelo.|
|1966 (7th Term)||Theatre|
|1964-1966||Theatre||Barnstaple While at RADA.|
|1964-1966||Theatre||Italian Straw Hat While at RADA.|
|Mid 1966||Theatre||Unknown The first activity after leaving RADA was as understudy for the actor Peter Jones in a play at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford.|
|Sep/Dec 1966||Theatre||Assistant stage manager For about 4 months, in 1966 Gareth was an assistant stage manager at the Liverpool playhouse. He was paid seven pounds 10 shillings a week for this job.|
|Dec 1966||Theatre||Various Roles as part of the Liverpool playhouse company from December 1966 until sometime in 1967.|
|1967?||Theatre||Around the World in 80 Days at the Liverpool Playhouse. John Thaw was Phileas Fogg. Gareth did several walk on parts.|
|Dec 1966||Theatre||Brer Rabbit Gareth played Brer Bear at the Liverpool playhouse. This is thought to have been a theatre production for children. (December is an educated guess.)|
|1967||Theatre||Three Months Gone by Donald Howarth. At the Duchess Theatre, London West End. Gareth played a character in the 2nd act and understudied Alan Lake (Chel in Aftermath), who starred in the play with his wife Diana Dors. One day without ever rehearsing the lead and with only minutes' notice, he had to go on for Alan for a matinee performance. He says at one point during the play he and Dors were sitting on a couch in their underwear, she told him he was doing "f****** wonderful".|
|1967||TV||The Prussian Officer. Granada TV. This was Gareth's first TV role.|
|11 Nov 1967||TV|
Gareth interviewed by Joe Nazzaro in Horizon NL#33: There was one wonderful occasion, not long out of drama school, when I played a small part in Quatermass and the Pit; in fact it was before the title came up. I was in Los Angeles as a spear-holder for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and apparently the film had just been shown on television. I was walking down the street and somebody came up to me and said, "My God, I saw you last night! You were in that film Quatermass and the Pit!" I think they had cut most of my lines; I had something like two lines, and yet somebody had seen that and remembered it."
|1960's||TV Adverts||Soap Powder and Beer|
Gareth (Horizon NL#21): I've done some voice overs, and would love to do more, because you're not immediately identifiable. A lot of people disagree with me on this one, but my attitude and my agent's also, is not to do visual adverts because to do that you either have to be very careful what I say here - I don't mean it disparagingly - you either have to be unknown or very well known to get away with it. My agent once said to me: "I won't let you do adverts, because if I put you up for Hamlet - I'm too old for that now, that's just an example - if I put you up for Hamlet, it's going to be very difficult for the director to see you as Hamlet if he's seen you advertising washing powder five times a night for the last ten weeks." I could see his point, and so that has been my policy. When I was first into the business I did do a couple of adverts, but none since.
|1 Apr 1968||Theatre||Under Milk Wood at the Aldwych in London, with the RSC. Gareth has taken part in Under Milk Wood between 3 and 5 times.|
|27 June 1968||Theatre||Dr Faustus (RSC, 1968) Gareth played 2nd scholar and Vintner in Dr Faustus for the RSC at Stratford on Avon. Stephen Greif was also involved, played Valdes also Rath (one of the seven deadly sins) and 5th scholor. Dr Faustus was played by Eric Porter.|
|1968||Theatre||King Lear (RSC) Gareth plays first messenger, Stephen Grief plays a captain employed by Edmund. Patrick Stewart is also there as the Duke of Cornwall. Lear was played by Eric Porter, the director was Trevor Nunn.|
|1968||Theatre||Much Ado About Nothing (RSC) Stephen Greif was also involved, part not known.|
|1968||Theatre||As You Like It (RSC)
Gareth plays a minor part falling into the category of "Lords, Attendants, Villagers"
(so did Stephen Grief). Partrick Stewart played Touchstone the clown. |
Program notes from the RSC programme: This production was first seen in June 1967 when it joined last year's Stratford season. The following month it moved into the RSC's London repertoire at the Aldwych Theatre, and then visited Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff, before returning to Stratford in the autumn. In the new year it went to America and played (with The Shrew) a six week season at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles. We have no reason to believe that Gareth was on any of these tours.
|August 1968||Theatre||Troilus and Cressida RSC.
Gareth was understudying Hector, and this play also had Stephen Greif understuding Alan
Howard's Achilles. And further to GT's remark that Blake and Picard were
together, that production also featured Sebastian Shaw (who played Annakin
Skywalker at the end of the Star Wars trilogy) as Ulysses.|
Gareth had two parts, he was playing Margarelon who is a son of Priam the King of Troy and according to the programme the prologue was done by Ian Dyson or Gareth Thomas. Cressida was played by Helen Mirrem.
Gareth in The Prydonian Renegrade: I've said this at conventions many times and nobody's ever picked it up and made an issue of it. In 1969 when I was 24 I was a spearholder at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the first time I went to the Royal Shakespeare Company. And there was a gentleman who was about five or six years older than me, and we were doing Troilus and Cressida and he was playing Hector, and I actually understudied him, and that was Pat Stewart. And the fact that Blake actually understudied Star Trek - but nobody's ever picked that up and I find it fascinating.
|May 1969||Theatre||Unknown RSC on tour in
Detroit, USA. They also went to Los Angeles and San Francisco as part of the
same tour, the tour intended to go to New York but ended in Detroit as they
could not fill the theatre in New York. (Last bit from Liz Freeland Drewery
the stage Manager for the tour).|
Dr Faustus and Much Ado About Nothing (See 1968) may have been on tour.
Gareth (FCG#7): I've been in Detroit years and years ago in 1969 with the RSC. They were wiring the blossoms on the trees, because it was May Day. Outside Hudson's, I think. It was the first time that I got somewhere, and they wouldn't take money. "What do you mean, you won't take money?" and they said, "You've got to have a credit card!" I said, "I don't have a credit card. I'm English!"
|1969 - 1970||TV||Parkin's Patch (Yorkshire TV).
He was a regular in this series. 26 episodes made in total and broadcast
from 19 Sep 1969 until 20 Mar 1970. He played a detective.|
|1969-1973||TV||A Family at War Granada - either 8 1hr episodes or 13 episodes per year. Story of a family during WW II. No information as to Gareth's role. Gareth (Horizon NL#21): I'd been in the pub with the script editor some weeks before, and somebody came in and said: "Gareth, you're needed." I downed my pint in about four or five seconds, and the script editor said: "Hey, that's damned good" We'll get that into the script for the character." So stupidly, in my young days, I said: "Yes, yes, fine, jolly good idea!" and lo and behold a few scripts later, in came this scene of me in a pub drinking a pint quickly. The scene immediately prior to that was me at breakfast having bacon and eggs. So of course we came to the rehearsal and I have bacon and eggs and then I go to the next scene and knock back a pint. Then we come to the actual take and I go and have bacon and eggs and down another pint. Then we do a retake - by which time I need a bucket! (Laughs). That was a very salutary lesson.|
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Last updated on 31st of July 2002.