Thomas Howes is a Screen Actor's Guild Award-winning Classical actor of stage and screen. He received a BA Hons in Acting and a Classical training from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Thomas started acting at the age of 10, and by the age of 20 started his professional career with the National Theatre playing Scripps in Alan Bennett's `The History Boys' on No. 1 UK tour and at the Wyndham's Theatre in the West End for nearly a year.
He was a member of the National Youth Theatre, and studied circus, Commedia dell'arte, and slapstick, and had a brief period of doing stunts, tap dancing, handstands, falling down trapdoors, and swinging in on ropes. He was also listed by MENSA as being in the top 1% of the country.
He started his career on stage treading the boards in Classical Theatre before the screen work, doing Shakespeare, Wilde, and Rattigan's `The Winslow Boy' with Timothy West. He appeared in `The Guinea Pig Club' at Trafalgar Studios 1, and `The 8th Fold' musical in concert at the Duchess Theatre.
Thomas is perhaps most famous for his role as William Mason in Series 1 & 2 of the hit ITV series `Downton Abbey', sold in 165 countries worldwide. For this production he was presented with the Screen Actor's Guild Award, a solid bronze statuette from America called `The Actor' holding the tragic and comic masks of drama.
He played Team Captain Mark Jones for the BBC in `United' about the Busby Babes and the Munich Air Crash in the 50s, and took Kiera Knightley to the opera as Colonel Yashvin in the Hollywood film `Anna Karenina'. He was invited to Canada to play a young sword-fighting Sir Winston Churchill in `The Murdoch Mysteries'. He re-united with `Downton's Joanne Froggatt & BAFTA-winning director Brian Percival as George Ward in `Dark Angel', and played Constable Booth in `Houdini & Doyle', both for ITV.
He returned to the BBC playing Samuel Hartley in `To Walk Invisible' for Sally Wainwright, who has now cast him as John Booth in the new hit BBC series `Gentleman Jack' with Suranne Jones.
In addition to his screen work, Thomas has kept a lengthy career going in stage work also, appearing as George Symons in a new play about `Titanic' by Owen McCafferty, with which they opened a new theatre in Belfast called The MAC. He played Detective Sergeant Trotter in Agatha Christie's `The Mousetrap' starting at the St. Martin's Theatre and embarking on the 1st ever UK tour. He was the 1st actor to play the Manchester Opera House with this play since Sir Richard Attenborough in the Original Cast.
He did a reading in a theatre at the top of Foyles Bookshop, reading a new short story by `The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' author Mark Haddon, with Jonathan Pryce and Helen McCrory.
He branched out into opera with `The Lighthousekeepers' newly written by David Sawyer for the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and Originated a role in Musical Theatre as Ratty in `The Wind in the Willows : The Musical' by Stiles & Drewe on UK tour, with Fra Fee and Rufus Hound.
Thomas played the role of Algernon Moncrieff in `The Importance of being Earnest' by Oscar Wilde with Gwen Taylor and Kerry Ellis on No. 1 UK tour, to great critical acclaim.
Thomas has worked with the best in the business, including Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Keira Knightley, Jim Carter, Timothy West, David Tennant, Dougray Scott, Jack O'Connell, Sam Claflin, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Rose Leslie, Desmond Barrit, Robert Dawes, Jonathan Pryce, Helen McCrory, Paul O'Grady, Kerry Ellis, Suranne Jones - and even the Chuckle Brothers!
He has worked with directors including Sir Nicholas Hytner and Brian Percival, and writers including Alan Bennett ( twice ), Lord Julian Fellowes ( twice ), Sir Tom Stoppard, and Sally Wainwright ( twice ). He has been choreographed by Andrew Wright, Kevan Allan, and Aletta Collins, and fight directed by Kevin McCurdy and `Combat' Kate Waters.
In addition to his professional work, Thomas keeps a healthy interest in local theatre in his home town of Doncaster, and has presented an entire franchise of `What the Dickens' shows, writing and playing Charles Dickens, presenting every Dickens' Christmas story and more over 6 years.
He has directed `Equus', and `A Midsummer Night's Dream' open-air promenade at Cusworth Hall, also playing Theseus and Oberon.
For many years, he was Singing Tutor and Musical Director for C.A.T.S. Theatre Company and Doncaster College. He also plays violin and piano.
He has been active in supporting local charities, such as `Superkids' and `Friends of the Doncaster Grand'.
He has also appeared in 10 musicals and some 15 pantomimes over the years, including 3 professional pantomimes; 2 `Aladdin's, and an acclaimed `Cinderella' starring as the Ugly Sisters with his `History Boys' co-star Desmond Barrit.
He runs his own theatre company in Doncaster, Diamond Theatre Company.
Watch out for him as John Booth in the new BBC & HBO Sally Wainwright drama `Gentleman Jack' starring Suranne Jones.