Budding actor helps out theatre

AN AMATEUR dramatist has given £1,000 to help restore the theatre he is currently appearing in.Businessman and budding actor David Howes has signed up as the 100th member of the Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's restoration appeal scheme the Royal Million.

AN AMATEUR dramatist has given £1,000 to help restore the theatre he is currently appearing in.

Businessman and budding actor David Howes has signed up as the 100th member of the Bury St Edmunds Theatre Royal's restoration appeal scheme the Royal Million.

As a result of his subscription, the scheme, which was launched seven weeks ago by star of stage and screen Timothy West, has reached the £100,000 mark.

David, who is currently appearing at the theatre with several walk-on parts in The Irving Stage Company's production of the musical Mack and Mabel was inspired to join the scheme by his own experiences as a performer and audience member.

He said: "It's a beautiful theatre, it's a work of art, but I've been backstage and can see it's in desperate need of modernisation to provide facilities for crews and actors.

"Being a total amateur I have to pinch myself to realise how lucky I am to have such a wonderful theatre to work in. I am delighted to be the 100th member of this club and look forward to meeting the 1,000th member."

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Claire Glazebrook, the theatre's development manager, said: "To reach 100 members in just seven weeks is fantastic news and it just goes to prove the level of public support we have for the theatre's restoration and redevelopment plans.

"£1,000 is a lot to ask from anybody, but with tax relief and paid over four years it is actually only £16.30 a month, which is less than the cost of a newspaper a day."

The Royal Million scheme affords members invitations to special events and the chance to meet celebrities associated with the appeal and is part of larger efforts to a raise a total of £6.4 million.

David has joined theatre luminaries such as Dame Judi Dench and Sir Peter Hall who are backing the appeal, which has so far reached the £3.5 million mark.

The project will restore the theatre to its original 1819 layout and improve facilities.

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