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Obituary: Robert Thomas – ‘One of the most respected theatre accountants of his generation’

Robert Thomas Robert Thomas

One of the most respected theatre accountants of his generation, Robert Thomas received an Olivier award shortly before his death at the age of 75 in recognition of his stewardship of more than 300 West End and touring productions in a career capped by 25 years as financial controller of theatre company PW Productions.

Among his last projects with PW Productions were The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre, the UK and Irish tour of Sting’s The Last Ship and British and American tours reviving Stephen Daldry’s award-laden staging of JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls.

Born in Canterbury, Thomas worked with the Petchey Group looking after timeshare properties before joining PW Productions in 1993.

His work with other producers included projects for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Michael Harrison, Kenny Wax, Kim Poster, Derren Brown, and Jenny King and Matthew Gale at the Touring Consortium.

Consummately managing to be simultaneously collaborative and combative, he had, said PW Productions’ chief executive Peter Wilson, “a rare combination of straight talking, bluster and detailed knowledge allied to a determination that the little guy should have a protector. He was a shield and a sword, a shelter and a refuge, however frequently we got the rough end of his very salty tongue.”

Robert Charles Thomas was born in Canterbury on October 19, 1943, and died on December 3, 2018. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

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