This section is continuously under development, with more details of Gareth's activities being added as we hear about them.
Note: the dates given for TV/Radio shows are where possible the first showing of the first episode where applicable, not when they were made.
Gareth has managed to die in a surprisingly large number of roles. The RIP symbol is shown against performances he is known to have died in.
Gareth has been known to bemoan the fact that he never gets to play lovers. The statistics seem to bear him out. Heart symbols indicate a romance, they appear to be heavily outnumbered by tombstones. (Parts where he is already married don't qualify. )
Gareth has said that he does't want to be thought of as just a Welsh actor, but as an actor who can do English and Welsh characters with equal ease. He has lived for a long time in England, and now in Scotland, after his early years in Wales. He has been cast in a lot of Welsh roles over the years. Leeks indicate Welsh parts.
Material here, comes from many sources including :- Blake's 7 magazine, Chris Blenkarn, Joyce Bowen, Sue Clerc, Robert Cheadle, Sue Cowley, Pat Fenech, The Freedom City Gazette (FCG), Horizon magazine, Julia Jones, Andrew Kearley, Gareth Randell, Judith Proctor, The Prydonian Renegade (March 96), Together Again - Action, TV Zone Special #4, Stellar Quines, Dundee Rep Theatre, Theatre Clwyd, The Magenta Partnership, Royal Lyceum Theatre - Edinburgh, Alan Stevens, Pete Wallbank, Andy Hopkinson, Mark Thompson, The Scottish Theatre Archive, Blake's 7 The Inside Story, The Archives of The Royal Shakespeare Company, Sheelagh Wells, Gareth Thomas and some very nice people who have asked not to be identified.
|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".|
|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!"
|1970||Theatre||Black Comedy At the
Gate Theatre in Dublin and the Lyric in Belfast, Gareth played Brindsley|
This was a double bill, together with Decameron (the 77th story of the Decameron).
Gareth (Horizon NL#21): In it I was playing a sort of roving jester, who literally wandered out and ad-libbed in the audience and all sorts of things, as well as being the link-man. And the review raved about this Decameron, raved and raved about it, but never mentioned me at all. Then there was a break in the paragraph and the next paragraph was about Black Comedy, and it started off: 'What more can we say about Mr. Thomas?' and that was it! Somebody pointed this out to me and I thought 'That's ridiculous, they haven't said anything about me!' So the stage manager phoned up the newspaper, and I got a charming letter from this lady reviewer - can't remeber her name now - showing me the original review, which the newspaper editor had slashed without reading it at all. Just took a chunk out, because they didn't have space. And in fact, it had been an absolutely wonderful review! Hence, 'What more can we say about Mr. Thomas?'.
|1971||Theatre||Duchess of Malfi At the Royal Court Theatre, London|
|9 May 1978||Theatre||Canterbury Tales At the
Haymarket in Basingstoke by the Horseshoe company, Gareth played The Miller
and The Chantecleer (The cockerel). This was during the period he was making
Blake's 7. This ran from May 9th to May 20th. This adaptation from Chaucer
was by Phil Woods.|
The programme notes from Absent friends two weeeks later, quoted the following extracts from reviews: A comedian of some brilliance... an ideal Miller... excellent recounter... wonderful actor and 'The Most vulgar of them all' - fully justified Horseshoe's move in luring him away briefly from Blake's 7 onto the Haymarket stage. There are many people in Basingstoke who will never forget his entrance as Chanticleer, whatever remains in their memories of his excellent performances in Stocker's Copper, How Green Was My Valley and Sutherland's Law. We wish him well on the second series of Blake's 7.
|23 May 1978||Theatre||Absent Friends At the Haymarket Threatre in Basingstoke, by the Horseshoe Threatre Companny. By Alan Ayckbourn. This ran to June 3rd. Gareth was playing Paul.|
|12 June 1979||Theatre|
Gareth in The Prydonian Renegrade: I was doing Orsino at Stratford in the Royal Shakespeare Company in Twelfth Night and I can't remember what the speech was now but I completely lost it. I couldn't remember the lines, anything - 'dried' as we call it in the profession - and I carried on waffling away until I actually got my brain back into gear and went back into the script agian. When I came offstage at the end of the scene, there was the director standing there. I said "Geez, I'm sorry, Terry. I don't know what the heck happened. I just couldn't remember a bloody thing. I just waffled and bumbled.." He said, "It doesn't matter, Gareth, Don't worry about it. What was fascinating was, the whole thing, all your waffle, was in pure iambic pentameter!" - so I'd kept to Shakespeare's rhythm.
|6 Aug 1979||Theatre|
|10 Oct 1979||Theatre|
|1980||Theatre||What the Butler Saw By Joe Orton. At the Sherman Theatre at the University of Wales at Cardiff, and later at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. Gareth plays the police sergeant (Sergeant Match) who ends up in a dress at one point. Also with Angharad Rees.|
|10 May 1983||Theatre||Educating Rita by Willy Russell. Gareth played Frank. At the Theatre Royal Windsor until 27 May 1983.|
|19 Mar 1985||Theatre||Beside the Sea By Brian Jefferies. At the Theatre Royal, Windsor until 6 April 1985. Gareth played Arnold who is the focal point as the poet / deckchair attendant, who sees and knows all. - Gareth described this as a "wierd play".|
|3 Nov 1986||Theatre||Henry IV parts 1 & 2 and Henry V
English Shakespeare Company (ESC). Gareth played Glendower, Lord
Chief Justice, Scroop and Fluellen.|
They toured England, Wales, Germany, Paris and spent six weeks in Toronto.
Gareth to Joe Nazzaro (FCG#7): I was phoned up out of the blue by a theatre director (Michael Bogdanov) for whom I have enormous respect, who had turned me down for a job some years before. He only likes working with people he's worked with before, and I wasn't one of them. But this time I was phoned up by him to play the Welsh parts in Henry IV pt 1, Henry IV pt 2 and Henry V. This was for a new company being set up to tour around Britain, France, Germany and Toronto Canada. I hemmed and hawed, and I finally said yes, okay, because I admired the director.
We did Henry VI pt 1 on Monday, Henry VI pt 2 on Tuesday, Henry V on Wednesday afternoon, Henry VI pt 1 on Wednesday evening, Henry VI pt 2 on Thursday, Henry V on Friday, and all three on Saturday; that was twelve hours of theatre. It was known as "The Marathon." Doctors have said that going on stage, if you take it seriously and get nervous, is the equivalent of having a minor car crash. We used to walk in on a Saturday morning and say, "Goddamn it, I'm sitting here, I'm hung over, and I've got three minor car crashes to go through in twelve hours in this bloody theatre! What am I doing for a living?" Having said that, we did it in Hamburg, Germany on a Sunday, and it was fifteen minutes before they allowed us off the stage. They were cheering, stamping, shouting, whistling - everything. It was amazing; it was an experience I'd never had before. It was ten minutes before they let us out of the Old Vic in London. It was directed as a trilogy, so that Saturday was actually the great day. You came up knackered but on a great high, really on a high, which meant that Monday was hell! We went from sublime to the ridiculous on that one, because we did the trilogy on a Saturday in Paris and opened in Hull on a Monday. I suppossed that's like saying we did a trilogy in Tinsel City and then opened up on Monday in Detroit! No offense to the people of Detroit.
After this run, Gareth was offered the John Woodvine part of Falstaff but refused it, since he didn't have time to really study it and make it his own. He said if he had done it, he would have been imitating Woodvine's version.
Michael Bogdanov and Michael Pennington wrote a book, "The English Shakespeare Company: The Story of The Wars of the Roses" about the first three seasons of the ESC.
Gareth Thomas appeared in the first (1986-1987) season. Michael Bogdanov said: "I rang Gareth Thomas, a fellow Welshman. He would do anything to give his Fluellen. His Fluellen turned out to be incomprehensible, North Walian, delivered with machine-gun rapidity. Very, very funny when you could understand it. He was so fast that subsequent versions of Henry V without him ran fifteen minutes longer." [pp. 33-34; GT was replaced by Sion Probert when he left the ESC.] There's a tiny picture of GT in this production, not very recognizable between the huge beard and the huge sheepskin hat.
The ESC got into a dispute with Equity about overtime payments. "The actors were represented by Morris Petty and Gareth Thomas. [...] Gareth was emotional. We had 'sold them down the river,' 'kicked them in the teeth.' All they had got for their pains was 'a slap in the face.'" [pp. 84-85; the tribunal awarded a fairly small amount to all the actors to settle the claim.]
Summing up the first season, Michael Pennington refers to "Gareth Thomas's marvellous Fluellen, loyal and verbose" [p. 93.]
GT's roles in the 1986-1987 tour, which ran from November 3 1986-June 27 1987, with 78 performances of each part of Henry IV and 79 performances of Henry V:
Henry IV Part 1 - Owen Glendower
Henry IV Part 2 - Lord Chief Justice (i.e., a shift from "The Rebels" to "The King's Party")
Henry V - Lord Chief Justice, Fluellen.
|29 Feb 1988||Theatre||Dangerous Corner By J B
Priestly, At the Churchill theatre Bromley, Richmond and Bath for 3 weeks,
Gareth played Charles Stanton (a villain), with Judy Buxton (Inga in
Hostage) as Freda Caplan. At Bromley from 29 Feb to 5 March.|
Gareth to Joe Nazzaro (FCG#7): I did the actor's nightmare: a play by an author called J.B.Priestly called Dangerous Corner, a good old potboiler written in the '30s. My agent phoned me up on a Tuesday evening and said to me "Gareth, I've had Bromley Theatre on the phone and they're doing Dangerous Corner by J.B.Priestly. Do you know it?" I said "I know the name but I have never seen it, and I've never read it." He said, "Well, the villain (an actor named James Warwick) has slipped a disc. They're finishing this week in Bromley, and then they're going to Richmond here in Surrey, and then Bath. Would you take over? I said "Yes, Okay" and he said "Go down to Bromley tomorrow morning and get the script." I said, "Right," put down the phone, and thought to myself, "Jesus Christ, you have just walked into the actor's nightmare! You've got a steady cast going, they know what they're doing, they know the words, and I'm taking over!" I went down on Wednesday lunchtime, I got the script, I went to the pub on Wednesday lunchtime, I read the script, and I went on stage with it on Saturday afternoon (without the script). I worked my butt off! Now that is where somebody off the street couldn't do it. That's training. It's panic, but it's training.
Joe: You said you looked forward to a challenge...
Gareth: That was a challenge, and I got good reviews, too. The reason that I had been asked to do it was because the director of it had been the assistant director at the Royal Shakespeare Company when I did Orsino, and the fellow playing Cassio in Othello had dislocated his kneecap, and I took that over in four days. He admitted to me, he said, "I went through a list of my mates, and I thought Gareth! He did Cassio in four days; he can do this in three."
|12 Apr 1989||Theatre||Inside Job At Theatre Royal, Windsor
12-29th of April 1989 and at other venues. |
A Windsor Newspaper (Francis Batt): The Glamour of Life in Luton.
Who would not envy the glamourous life of a film star, making movies in exotic locations? Actress Prunella Gee - currently starring in the play Inside Job at Windsor's Theatre Royal - wondered just what attractive setting she would be working in when she was cast as Sean Connery's girlfriend (or one of them) in his belated comeback to the role of James Bond in the 1983 film Never Say Never Again.
"Some of the film was set in the Bahamas and some in the south of France. But guess where all my scenes ended up being filmed - in Luton" said Prunella. Her co-star in Inside Job, Gareth Thomas (of Blakes 7 fame) can beat that though. He was once phoned by a producer and offered the choice between two roles in a new production.
It was not until I had chosen the one I wanted that he had the cheek to tell me that it was all being filmed over here, while the other role I had turned down was being filmed in the Bahamas...
|25 Oct 1989||Theatre|
Gareth in the Prydonian Renegade: I think Lear was certainly the most difficult thing I'd ever done on stage. You actually walk offstage totally and utterly exhausted. There's no two ways about that. That's it. You go out there, you give it everything you can, and you walk off and say, "Whew." I'll tell you how exhausted I got - sometimes I didn't even get to the bar for over half an hour! And there are lots of pitfalls. I remember, doing Lear, there was one occasion, a matinee I think it was, and Lear in the first scene, his first scene, towards the end of it he loses his temper for the first time and I mean really goes for Cordelia. Doing this matinee I suddenly thought "Why have all the cast turned upstage?" The audience didn't notice and I carried on. The line is, "So be my grave my peace, as here I give her father's heart from her." And apparently I'd said "As here I give her hather's fart from her," and all the cast cottoned on and turned upstage. But the audience didn't have a clue.
|1994||Theatre||Under Milk Wood
Gareth took part
in a production of Under Milk Wood to help raise money for the Prince of Wales
Trust some time in 1994 or 1995. The Prince of Wales Trust
helps young people get started in life. (This may have been the 1992 recording,
|8 May 1994||Theatre||Bridging the Tweed With the Rideout Theatre Company (who are based in Edinburgh). He played a tramp called "Merlin" during this performance. This ran to 14th May.|
|3 Nov 1994||Theatre||Educating Rita by Willy Russell. On tour including Oldham Colisseum Theatre, Nov 3-26th. Gareth played Frank.|
|8 Dec 1995||Theatre|
|11 Apr 1996||Theatre|
|10 Jan 1997||Theatre|
|7 Feb 1997||Theatre|
|14 May 1997||Theatre|
|28 Nov 1997||Theatre|
|18 Sep 1998||Theatre|
|4 Feb 1999||Theatre|
|16 Sep 1999||Theatre|
|27 Jan 2000||Theatre|
|24 Mar 2000||Theatre|
|8 Sep 2000||Theatre|
|8 Sep 2000||Theatre|
|1 Feb 2001||Theatre||Hamlet Gareth appeared in Hamlet playing Polonius, and The Gravedigger, at the Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh (near Edinburgh) from 1st to 17th February 2001.|
|10 Aug 2001||Theatre|
|4 Oct 2001||Theatre||Retherford and Son
Gareth Thomas played Rutherford in Rutherford and Son
at the Playhouse Theatre, Salisbury from 4th to 27th October 2001. Rehearsals
began on 10th September.|
This is directed by Joanna Read, who directed Equus at the same theatre in March 2000.
|7 Feb 2002||Theatre|
|11 Apr 2002||Theatre||Three Sisters
Gareth played Army Medical Officer Doctor Ivan Romanovich
Chebutykin in Anton Chekhov's 'Three Sisters', which stared Imogen
Stubbs and Dulcie Gray. The play
opens at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton on 11 April for a month,
and then a short tour. The dates/venues are:|
11 April/11 May 02 - Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.
There is a review at The Stage.
|7 Sep 2002||Theatre|
|7 Nov 2002||Theatre||Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Gareth played Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams' classic from 7th to 23rd November
at the Byre Theatre, St
Andrews, Fife. He played this part a few years
ago - see reviews.|
|24 June 2003||Theatre|
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Last updated on 06th of May 2002.