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Though originally from Liverpool, Alan Stanford's childhood was spent on the Isle of Wight in the South of England. He was an only child. He trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Stanford moved to Ireland in 1969 after touring there and eventually became an Irish citizen. As of 2011 became resident in the USA and is based in Pittsburgh.
Stanford's parents were John Stanford and Anne Kirkpatrick who raised him for most of his childhood in the Isle of Wight, however in 2010, aged 61, Stanford discovered that he had been adopted and that he shared a biological mother with six younger children. He has been married twice and has two sons from his second marriage.
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For over thirty years Stanford was an associate of the Gate Theatre Dublin both as actor and director. At the Gate he has directed Romeo and Juliet, Tartuffe, Present Laughter twice, Pride and Prejudice, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Great Expectations twice, A Tale of Two Cities, The Collection, Lady Windermere's Fan, Cyrano de Bergerac, An Ideal Husband, A Christmas Carol, Arms and the Man, Oliver Twist, Blithe Spirit, Jane Eyre, The Constant Wife, Private Lives, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Deep Blue Sea, The Old Curiosity Shop, The Real Thing, Endgame, God of Carnage, and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.
His work as an actor includes roles from Shaw to Wilde, from Ibsen to Ayckbourn. He received a Harveys Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance as Salieri in Amadeus and was nominated for three further performances - Astrov in Uncle Vanya, Higgins in Pygmalion and Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
During the Gate Theatre Beckett Festival he performed as Pozzo in Waiting for Godot and as Hamm in Endgame, performances he repeated to considerable critical acclaim at the Lincoln Center in New York, in Toronto, in Melbourne, at the Barbican Theatre in London, in Beijing and in Shanghai. Later stage appearances were at the Abbey Theatre as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest and at the Gate Theatre as Herod in Oscar Wilde'sSalome. In the USA he appeared as King Henry in The Lion in Winter
Other theatre work
He also created a new version of A Doll's House and a stage version of How Many Miles to Babylon?, for Second Age Theatre Company. He created a screenplay of The Picture of Dorian Gray, which he had previously co-adapted for the stage with writer Gavin Kostick. He has also co-written and directed two pantomimes at the Gaiety Theatre, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.
His adaptations of both Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre have been presented in many theatres in both the USA and Canada. He is currently Executive and Artistic Director with PICT Classic Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA).
Television and film work
His film and television work includes Educating Rita, The Irish R.M., The Treaty, The Hanging Gale, Moll Flanders, Michael Collins, Kidnapped, Animal Farm etc. For many years he played George Manning in RTÉ's Glenroe.
From 2006 to 2011 he was a member of the Arts Council of Ireland.
- "Alan Stanford". Alan Stanford. Alan Stanford. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
- "Alan Stanford Director of An Ideal Husband". Hot Press Ireland. Hot Press. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
- "Alan Stanford Director". Irish Theatre Magazine. Irish Theatre Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
- "George Manning". Stills Library RTÉ. RTÉ. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2015.