Dominic Rai – Artist in Residence 2024-2025

flyer Introducing our artist in residence dominic rai, includes a blue and yellow painting at the top of the page

St Mary de Crypt has sat in the heart of Gloucester City for over a millennia. Following its recent refurbishment in 2018, it is now flourishing as a welcoming community hub and vibrant events venue.

St Mary de Crypt is excited to be welcoming Dominic as our Artist in Residence 2024/5, and is looking forward to working with him on exciting projects that welcome the diverse communities of Gloucester into this very special building.

Helen Webster – Community Arts and Events Manager

For further information contact
Helen Webster Community Arts and Events Manager on 01452 305235 or email

I feel honoured to be artist in residence at De Crypt. I find it a magical space which is run by a great team of volunteers, artists, and trustees. I am thrilled to be part of this community.

This year feels like a critical moment to address a cultural and heritage space such as De Crypt, which has been in public use for 1000 years, as the city transforms with new buildings and contemporary creative growth.

I’m excited to delve into the story of Joan and John Cook, the pioneers who established the first free grammar school in Gloucester in 1539. Alongside this, I will be diving into the intriguing history of George Whitfield, a charismatic preacher connected to De Crypt. This exploration will include a look at his complex legacy, which notably encompasses his role as a slave owner in America.

I invite you to see the city from a new perspective, as we explore and share inspiring stories of people who have, or who are making a difference. I will also curate performances, spoken word and music events, drawn from my current and past artistic endeavours.

Dominic Rai

Dominic will be devoting one day a week to his Artist in Residence tenure starting April 2024.

About Dominic Rai

Dominic started his creative journey in theatre with Tara Arts in London in the 1980s. He has worked with many theatre companies including Artistic Director of Mán Melá theatre company.

His theatre work includes: The Cornershop, an exploration of British Asian family life which toured nationally to audience and critical acclaim; two bilingual community health plays commissioned by Derby City NHS aimed at the South Asian communities; and Fallout, a contemporary play which was produced with students from George Monoux College, Walthamstow.

In Cardiff, Dominic collaborated with three male voice choirs on a project about men’s health. He was on the board of trustees for Chapter Arts in Cardiff with a special interest in developing culturally diverse and young audiences.
Dominic is passionate about the story of Indian and commonwealth soldiers in World War One, and has produced for theatre Across the Black Waters by Mulk Raj Anand, the only novel that tells their story.

Dominic was born in Sansarpur, a village famous for hockey in East Panjab. At the age of six he came to England with his parents. He grew up in Handsworth, Birmingham and has lived and worked in London and Cardiff. He moved to Gloucester during the pandemic in June 2020.

Contact Dominic Rai at

Illustrative map of the uk highlighting cultural and historical connections with south asia. features cities like cardiff, birmingham, and london with notable icons, such as sports, architecture, and music. vibrant colors and annotations are used.


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