From Poole in Dorset, Ray's working life began as an apprentice electro-mechanical instrument mechanic, followed by a year as an instrument-maker with the Admiralty before a career switch took him to the Mountview Theatre School in London!
"Resting" periods between theatre engagements provided time to build upon the piano lessons of his youth, by teaching himself various wind instruments, advanced music theory and basic composition, and to develop his interest in folklore and folk dance.
Ray has spent many years in theatre seasons throughout the country, performing in productions ranging from the traditional to the unusual; the latter including Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre and Ionesco's Theatre of the Absurd play Rhinoceros! at Southampton's Nuffield Theatre.
Extensive touring has included productions from Small-Scale to Commercial shows and in 1995, he joined Alan Janes' The Buddy Holly Story in which, amongst other things, he played Norman Petty (Buddy's manager) and was lead saxophonist. By way of a change, he followed this with a national tour of Charles Dickens' Hard Times with Philip Madoc, Janet Brown and Aled Jones.
As a native Wessexman, Ray's projects for the Thomas Hardy Society include his one-man adaptation of The Three Strangers (now the second-half of Two Victorian Tales) for the 1990 Festival which marked 150 years since the author's birth. In the Autumn of 2000 Ray assisted in the choreography of the country-dances for London Weekend Television's production of The Mayor of Casterbridge.
Ray now tours nationally with his one-man shows, and has done so since 2002. As a musician, he plays recorders, pipe-and-tabor, old-English bagpipes and percussions with the medieval trio The Wimborne Minstrels, and saxophone with the ceilidh band No Strings Attached.
His peripheral work spans voice-overs for TV commercials, diverse technical and educational films and videos and community theatre projects. He has also recorded poetry for BBC Radio 4 and has made several television appearances.
Ray now lives near Wimborne Minster in Dorset with his wife Julia, their daughter Laura and cats Molly and Barley the Lion.
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