Matthew James Thomas

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Matthew James Thomas
Born Matthew James Thomas
March 3 1988 (age 28)
Buckinghamshire, UK
Years active 1999–present

Matthew James Thomas (Born 1988), also occasionally credited as Matthew Thomas,[1] is a British actor and singer who has made appearances in television, film, and theater. He is known for his television roles including the BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning, The Lost Prince, and the ITV drama-musical show, Britannia High. Thomas is also recognized for his performance in the title role of the 2013 revival of Pippin,[2] which received a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. He was also a late addition to the U.S. national tour of Pippin in 2014.[3] He had his Broadway debut in 2010 playing Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.[4]

In 2013, Thomas was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for his performance in the title role in Pippin,[5] and, in 2015, he was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for his performance as Fenwick in the Barry Levinson-produced musical, Diner.[6] Later in 2015, he was cast alongside Eddie Izzard in the HBO pilot, The Devil You Know, an upcoming drama program created by Jenji Kohan.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Thomas trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London[8] and later at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts also in London.[9] He grew up largely in Buckinghamshire, England.[3] His first professional acting job came at the age of 8 when he played Kipper in a production of Oliver! in the West End.[8][9] As a child, he also appeared as Simon in Billy Elliot and in About a Boy, starring Hugh Grant.[2] Additionally, Thomas made frequent appearances on numerous British television shows, including Wonderful You, The Bill, Bad Girls, and Stephen Poliakoff's The Lost Prince, among others.[10]


For much of his early career, Thomas worked on the screen and stage in films, television shows, musicals, and plays. Prior to coming to Broadway, Thomas acted in numerous London-based and West End plays. He had a featured role as Clarence in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of Whistle Down the Wind.[11] Other UK roles include: Schlomo in Fame, directed by Karen Bruce, Wayne in an adaption of Ben Elton's Novel - Popcorn, directed by Lee Morgan at the Landor Fringe Theatre, Romeo and Juliet, and Dick Whittington, directed by award winning director Gillian Lynne.[10][12][13][14]

In 2008, Thomas was cast as Jeremy (Jez) Tyler in the ITV television drama musical, Britannia High, created by Arlene Phillips. Over 3,000 people auditioned for roles as one of the six lead characters on the show. The series ran for 9 episodes in the latter half of 2008.[15] Less than a year later, Thomas earned the title role in the musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. The musical ran from July 2, 2009 to August 2, 2009 at the Leicester Square Theatre. It was directed by Linnie Reedman and the music composed by Joe Evans.[16]

In 2010, Thomas appeared in an episode of the ITV series, Midsomer Murders alongside John Nettles, Sylvestra Le Touzel, Lydia Wilson, and Richard Fleeshman.[17] Also in 2010, Thomas ventured to New York City and Broadway where he earned a role as the alternate lead in Julie Taymor's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Thomas played Peter Parker/Spider-Man for two performances each week while Reeve Carney took on the role 6 times per week.[18] The play was staged at the Lyric Theatre, which, at the time, was known as the Foxwoods Theatre. In November 2011, Thomas was injured backstage during a Wednesday matinee performance. The injury was not considered serious.[19]

Thomas' final performance as Spider-Man was on November 10, 2012. He left the show to perform in the lead role in the American Repertory Theater's revival of Pippin, directed by Diane Paulus.[20] In 2013, the show moved from Cambridge, Massachusetts to the Music Box Theatre on Broadway. It officially opened at the Music Box on April 25, 2013.[8] During the show's Broadway run, Thomas starred in 8 shows each week.[21] Pippin won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 2013.[2]

In 2013, Thomas released a three-track EP of original songs entitled, No Sound at All. The album was produced by Duncan Sheik.[10] In early 2014, it was reported that Thomas was in contention for the lead role in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[22] At the end of Pippin's Broadway run in 2014, Thomas joined his parents in Malta for their anniversary celebration. Almost immediately after arriving, he received a phone call asking him to reprise his role as Pippin for the U.S. national tour, which was opening in Denver in 8 days. Kyle Selig, the actor originally hired to play Pippin for the tour, had been put on vocal rest.[3] Thomas filled in and continued in the role for later dates on the tour, including those for Los Angeles and San Francisco.[23]

In late 2014 and early 2015, Thomas starred as Fenwick in a musical adaptation of Barry Levinson's 1982 film, Diner. The play was produced by Levinson and Scott Landis, and the music was written by Sheryl Crow. The musical was developed at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia and was directed by Kathleen Marshall.[24][25][26] The play was well-received and sold out its entire run at the Signature Theatre.[27] In March 2015, Thomas was cast as Henry Paine in the pilot for an upcoming HBO drama series tentatively titled, The Devil You Know. The show was co-created by Jenji Kohan, the creator of Orange Is the New Black. The series will also star Eddie Izzard.[7][28]

Recognition and awards[edit]

Thomas was a main feature of the Pippin cast that won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. The musical was nominated for a total of 10 awards and won 4.[29] Thomas' performance in Pippin earned him a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical by the Outer Critics Circle Awards.[5] In 2015, Thomas was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical (HAYES Production) for his performance in Diner.[6][30]

List of credits[edit]


Year Title Role Network Notes
Wonderful You Joe, Henry's nephew Mini-series
The Bill Karl Drake
Series 15 episode 25 "Look Away Now"
Bad Girls (TV series) Tom Fenner
Series 2 episode 3 "Visiting Time"
Care Brian Drama
Spooks Demonstrator Series 1 episode 4 "Traitor's Gate"
The Lost Prince Prince John (older)
Trevor's World of Sport Toby
Shane Spotty kid
Series 1 episode 2
Afterlife Bardo's Lawyer
Series 1 episode 2 "Lower Than Bones"
Desperados Gary Black Series 1 episode 10
Doctors Mickey Carly
Series 9 episode 39 "Victim Support"
Genie in the House Mr. White Series 2 episode 22 "Mr Write"
Britannia High Jez Tyler
Main cast
Casualty Gary Yates
Series 24 episode 25 "Love Is A Battlefield"
Midsomer Murders Orlando Guest
Series 13 episode 5 "Master Class"
2015 The Devil You Know Henry Paine BBC Lead role


Year Title Role
2000 The Blind Date Matthew Davey
Billy Elliot Simon
2002 About a Boy Candy thrower



  1. ^ "Matthew James Thomas". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Halterman, Jim (1 November 2013). "Matthew James Thomas On "Pippin" And His Own Music". The Backlot. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Moore, John (20 September 2014). "The 'Pippin' Profiles: Matthew James Thomas on being shot out of a cannon". Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Healy, Patrick (16 November 2010). "Wary of Demanding Lead Role, ‘Spider-Man’ Producers Eye Use of Backup". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Cox, Gordon (22 April 2013). "‘Pippin’ Hot With Outer Critics Circle Nominators". Variety. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "2015 Helen Hayes Awards nominations". The Washington Post. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Pippin Star Matthew James Thomas Joins New HBO Pilot by Orange Is the New Black Creator". Theater Mania. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Evans, Suzy (26 March 2013). "6 Acting Lessons From 'Pippin's' Matthew James Thomas". Backstage. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Barrett, Hannah (1 July 2013). "Matthew James Thomas is EXTRAORDINARY". Broadway Master Chat. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c Gans, Andrew (19 June 2013). ""No Sound At All," New EP from Pippin's Matthew James Thomas, Now Available". Playbill. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Sweetbriar, BeBe (15 July 2013). "Broadway’s ’Pippin’ sounds off with ’No Sound At All’". Edge Media Network. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Win tickets to see Dick Whittington at Sadler's Wells". The Independent. 12 December 1999. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Cast & Creative". Fame The Musical. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Projects - Fame". Ian H Watkins. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  15. ^ Osborn, Michael (24 October 2008). "'Fame' recalled in Britannia High". BBC News. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  16. ^ Amer, Matthew (28 May 2009). "Leicester Square return for Dorian Gray". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "Spider-Man’s Matthew James Thomas Pays a Visit to Pal Richard Fleeshman at Ghost". 10 July 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew (5 November 2010). "Will Matthew James Thomas Share Title Role in Spider-Man With Reeve Carney?". Playbill. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  19. ^ Gans, Andrew (10 November 2011). "Spider-Man Star Matthew James Thomas Injured Backstage at the Foxwoods Theatre". Playbill. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  20. ^ Gilbert, Ryan (12 November 2012). "Spider-Man's Matthew James Thomas Takes Off Spidey's Mask to Put on Pippin's Crown". Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  21. ^ Lewis, Casey (19 August 2013). "Meet 'Pippin' Star Matthew James Thomas, Broadway's Biggest New Talent". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  22. ^ Kroll, Justin (12 March 2014). "‘Star Wars Episode VII': Actors Battle for Lead Role (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "Matthew James Thomas to Continue as Lead for PIPPIN's LA and San Francisco Premiere; Kyle Selig on Vocal Rest". Broadway World. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  24. ^ Lloyd Webber, Imogen (4 November 2014). "Matthew James Thomas, Derek Klena & More to Star in World Premiere of Sheryl Crow's Diner". Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  25. ^ Marks, Peter (18 March 2014). "Sheryl Crow, Barry Levinson to bring musical ‘Diner’ to Washington". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  26. ^ Kaufman, Sarah (9 December 2014). "How ‘Diner’ director Kathleen Marshall plans to fend off fanboys". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  27. ^ Smith, Tim (31 December 2014). "Musical 'Diner' sells out entire run at Signature Theatre [Update]". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  28. ^ Petski, Denise (13 March 2015). "HBO Pilot ‘The Devil You Know': Ever Carradine & Damien Molony Among Additions". Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  29. ^ "Tony Awards 2013 winners and nominees: Complete list". Los Angeles Times. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  30. ^ Markowitz, Joel (6 April 2015). "Here Are The Recipients of This Year’s 2015 Helen Hayes Awards – in Order of Presentation With 2 Videos". DC Metro Theater Arts. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 

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