Actor needs £3k to bring West End play home to Banbury

Michael Stanley. Photo: Alex Winn NNL-180806-161510001
Michael Stanley. Photo: Alex Winn NNL-180806-161510001

An actor who grew up in Banbury is placing his faith in the public’s generosity in a bid for £3,000 to make a West End play and bring it back home.

Michael Stanley hopes to bring Love Lab, a drama he co-wrote and stars in about modern dating, to Banbury after its week-long run in at Tristan Bates Theatre in London.

But the 27-year-old’s production company d’Animate needs to raise £3,000 to cover the costs and Michael is hoping his hometown will help make his dream come true.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and I would love to bring it to The Mill because I did it before with a couple of Samuel Beckett plays which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but this is different,” he said.

“It’s only an hour long, like a Netflix show, and we want it to be for the Instagram generation, so it needs to be accessible. I want to make people, who wouldn’t normally come to the theatre, to come which is hard but hopefully it will be worthwhile.”

Michael, who’s stage name is Michael Rivers, grew up in Bodicote and Cherwell Heights, attending Banbury School and Stratford College.

He went on to study at prestigious acting school East 15 in London, before travelling all over the globe as an actor.

“I was a complete reprobate at school but acting was something that took my passion and energy and helped me realise there was something for me,” he said.

Love Lab shines a light on how modern dating and social media are ruining people’s sense of community and interaction.

Michael started writing the play with another actor he met while performing in Hamlet in the US, Harriet Barrow, six months ago and early showings have been received positively. Despite not having the funding organised, the theatre backed the play, which will run for six performances from August 13-18.

“The venue liked the idea of the show so much they want us to do the show and if they like it then they can develop it so that’s why it’s important to do it well,” he said.

“They just think it’s such an apt play right now that’s what they are going for, asking the questions about what Facebook is doing for us.”

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