A48 Theatre Company Ltd. was set up by Ray and Kathy Thomas in May 2018 in a bid to indulge and share their love of quality theatre that challenges, provokes and provides opportunity for growth.
Hailing from the ‘actor’s crucible’ of Port Talbot, Ray brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the company. Trained in Barry, South Wales, Ray did a ‘Gavin and Stacey’ long before they were invented, starting his teaching career in Billericay, Essex.
In 1977 he moved to the newly built Medina High School on the Isle of Wight and became the first Director/ Manager of the 500-seat “Community Theatre” at the school. He created a 250-strong Community Theatre Association of volunteers and established Wight Youth Theatre.
In 1981 Ray was appointed Head of Drama and Festival Director at the United World College of South-East Asia in Singapore. Here he worked with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and contributed to a major Theatre Conference for Mandarin-speaking professionals, also directing productions for the Singapore Drama Festival.
After undertaking an MEd at Cardiff University in 1985, Ray was appointed Head of Community Education at Bishop Fox’s School in Taunton, Somerset. In addition to establishing Lifelong Learning, he developed a ‘grass roots’ Management Committee and prepared funding applications for projects across the education spectrum.
Ray worked at Senior Management level in the Community Education Service in Somerset for 18 years. During that time he also founded Taunton Area Young People’s Theatre (TAYPT) and developed a Youth Arts Festival with Lottery funding.
Ray retired in 2004, returned to Cardiff and joined Everyman Theatre Company where he directed “Our Town”, “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg” and “Do Not Go Gentle” – a modern play written by Australian playwright Patricia Cornelius. The latter was performed by a joint cast of actors from Everyman and The Drill Hall Theatre Company, Mullumbimby, NSW. Using Scott’s journey to the Antarctic as a metaphor, the play takes a thought-provoking, and often amusing, look at dementia and resulted in involvement in Age Concern’s ‘Gwanwyn Festival’ which celebrates creativity in older age.
In 2014 Ray undertook an MA in Drama at the University of South Wales. He was subsequently invited to Lecture in Directing at the University and enjoys working with committed young people.
Born in Watford, North London, Kathy claims Geordie heritage courtesy of her parents and long line of Tyneside ancestors. Graduating from Nottingham University, Kathy began teaching English in Reading, Berkshire, but soon returned to Derbyshire where she had trained. Here she combined teaching at Anthony Gell’s School in Wirksworth with raising a family.
In 1978 Kathy began teaching at United World College of South-East Asia. During her seven years spent in Asia, Kathy travelled extensively and totally embraced the UWC Movement’s aim of promoting world peace through international understanding. She also ventured into the field of directing, making a film of ‘Lord of the Flies’ on location in Malaysia and directing ‘Insect Play’ and ‘Voyage of a Lifetime’ for the UWC Arts Festival..
Returning to UK in 1985 Kathy furthered her career teaching English, English Literature and Humanities in various schools in Derbyshire before moving to Somerset with Ray. Completing an MEd in curriculum studies at Exeter University, she became Head of Department at Ladymead Comprehensive School in Taunton, also teaching Media Studies.
Kathy retired in 2006 and finally found time to pursue a long neglected hobby – creative writing. After collaborating on a script looking at the role of science in drama for Ray’s final MA production, Kathy re-worked it focussing only on the life of the electrician, Andrew Crosse (1784 – 1855).
In 2017 she set up a writing group in Cardiff, which became ‘Living Lines’. The initial focus of this group was ‘Graveyard Voices’ (see Living Lines on this website) but other projects and writing interests are now pursued.
The formation of A48 Theatre Company was a natural outcome of Kathy and Ray’s shared love of drama, theatre, literature, writing and travel, and of their desire to provide development opportunities for like-minded enthusiasts.
Derek became a Director of the company in October 2019 with the specific brief to oversee financial matters. With many years of valuable experience in theatre, he brings a calm professionalism and wealth of knowledge to the company.
The Steering Group
A Steering Group of 8 members meet monthly in order to evaluate our current situation and guide us through each project and production. Reports to this group on Marketing, Finance, Company Policies, Backstage Support (i.e. costumes, stage management, rehearsal space, etc.) ‘Living Lines’ and Membership help to inform its decision making.
Our Mission Statement
“We will produce challenging modern theatre – 20th Century onwards – including new, site-specific and collaborative work, at a professional standard, for audiences across South Wales and outside the UK.”
Our registration with Companies House states our Purpose and Artistic Aims as being: “… to investigate, initiate and develop International Collaborative Theatre Projects with like-minded Theatre Companies based outside the UK.”
Where and when we meet
Our regular days are Tuesdays from 7.30 – 9.30 pm and Sundays from 10.00 – 12.00 pm.
‘Living Lines’ meet at Cathays Cemetery every other Tuesday from 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm. See ‘LIVING LINES’ on this site for information about our programme and up-coming events or go to:
We are currently a company of 30+. Membership costs £10 per year and runs from September 1st. For details on how to join, please go to ‘CONTACT’ on this site. You are welcome to come along to one of our sessions to find out more about us.