Originally from Swansea, South Wales, Annemarie graduated with a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts from Middlesex Polytechnic in 1989. The degree majored in music with voice & piano as joint first instruments and trumpet as her third instrument. On leaving college she co-founded the TIE Top Hat Theatre Company, writing original mini-musicals for schools on any subject the schools required. Topics were as varied as the well known children’s book “The Selfish Giant”, right through to the more obscure musicals on subjects from the Ozone Layer to the Solar System. She served her professional ‘apprenticeship’ first on the London Fringe working on numerous shows including the infamous “Newsrevue” at the Canal Cafe, moving up to what is now known as off West End (she was proudly there when the classification changed overnight for certain venues). From 1994 – 2004 Annemarie was the Musical Director for the multi award winning company the Steam Industry. Under its artistic director, Phil Willmott, the Steam Industry built up a strong reputation for big musicals in small spaces. From 1995 – 2001 their Christmas shows at BAC, London became an industry institution, annually breaking box office records, and consistently listed as the critics choice in national newspapers over the Christmas period.
As an accompanist and performer Annemarie regularly plays for various cabaret stars, ironically enjoying her role of the “miserable pianist”. As a repetiteur she has played for most of the top London casting directors and producers.
She is a thrice published composer and lyricist. Her composing portfolio ranges from the avant garde to the downright tacky. Although she always maintains that “you can’t beat a good tune that you feel sure sounds a little familiar”.
As a highly experienced teacher/workshop leader Annemarie regularly runs courses/projects for various youth and community organizations.
Between 2009 – 2022 Annemarie ran her own drama college – The MTA. In 2012 it was named as the School of the Year in The Stage 100 Awards. In 2017 it became the only college to win the award for a second time. Whilst the college is now closed why not nip across to find out why it was widely regarded to be a ground-breaking college www.theMTA.co.uk
In July 2016 The MTA launched the 4 pronged #time4change Mental Health initiative, working closely with Angie Peake they developed a ‘charter’ for the theatre industry to sign up to. Within the space of 4 months over 100 organisations had signed up, from drama colleges, agencies, production companies to iconic theatres.
In more recent years given her vast experience in all areas of the industry Annemarie has been invited to contribute articles to various publications and websites including The British Theatre Guide, the Public Reviews, The Stage, The UK Performing Arts Directory, Contacts, The Drama Student and more recently has written regular articles as an ‘expert’ for the US site, Backstage to name just a few, as well as guest columns in local newspapers/websites. Throughout 2014 she worked with a TV production company as an ‘expert’ on a pilot for a new quiz show.
Go to www.annemarielewisthomas.co.uk for more information