GB’s Theatre World (1)



Some of GB's earliest memories are of family stage shows in the big sitting room at home, and of 'dressing up' in costumes collected by various members of the Bantock family. One of his first 'roles' was as a page-boy; another was as the young Mozart “playing” at a miniature piano, while his mother played a real piano off stage. Even in those early days GB had the boldness to demand that he pretend to play the big piano on stage while his mother played the little one off stage!


Above left is a picture of GB aged 9 (1948), with his sister Lucy, aged 6, dressing up in exotic costumes donated by their Aunt Myrrha. GB sometimes used the long black-and-white coat he is wearing (turned inside out) as a teacher's gown, 'teaching' dolls and later his long-suffering sister and friends. It was at this time that he 'found' his vocation to be a teacher and stage director. He felt the 'sense of power' even then! He still has the coat in his possession.

Every Christmas, GB and his 4 brothers and sister, put on a show for friends and relatives, usually on Boxing Day and/or New Year's Eve. The programme consisted of crazy clown shows, scenes from British history and Shakespeare, skits, magic shows, parodies, songs and dance, and many others. Once they were invited to perform their show at a community hall at Moseley in Birmingham.


In 1953, the family put on an adaptation of A. A. Milne's 'The Princess and the Woodcutter'. GB played the Woodcutter and Lucy the Princess (See photo above right). In the drawing above centre by GB's 2nd brother Anton, we see (left to right) GB’s 4th brother Merlin as the King (he also played the Red Prince), Lucy as the Princess, GB as the Woodcutter, Anton as the Yellow Prince, GB's mother Margaret More Bantock as the Blue Prince as a Celtic warrior (In faint pencil in the background) and 3rd brother Cuillin as the Queen. In those days, GB was very fond of eating: in the picture, you can see him eating the bread intended for the three Princes to give to the Queen!


Bantock Family Shows