GB’s Theatre World (2)



From 1955 to 1957, the Bantock family shows were augmented by members of the neighbouring Wallbank family. Rosalind Wallbank, seen in the photo below left as Lady Anne, in the last joint show in 1957, was Lucy’s schoolmate and best friend. Other friends of GB and Lucy took part in some of the shows, which were directed for the first time by GB instead of by his elder brothers.


From early in 1958 till July 1960, GB took evening classes at the Birmingham Theatre School (BTS), where he learned the basic skills of professional theatre and acted various roles, usually in scenes from famous plays. He also directed several of his own plays there.


Above centre is a picture of GB in the title role of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" at the BTS. He acted two scenes from the play - "To be, or not to be" and the following scene with Ophelia, and the bedroom scene with Gertrude. In this picture, GB can be seen wearing the Hamlet costume once used by the famous British actor Sir John Martin-Harvey (1863 -1944), loaned to GB by the actor's son Michael (1899 - 1974).


At the Birmingham Theatre School, GB also acted as Iago in scenes from "Othello", as Prospero in scenes from "The Tempest" and as Cardinal Wolsey (See photo above right) in scenes from "Henry VIII".

Please take a look at the Theatre Photos page to view more pictures of GB and his world of theatre.

Learning the Skills