Frith Banbury

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Frith Banbury
Born Frederick Harold Frith Banbury
(1912-05-04)4 May 1912
Plymouth, Devon
Died 14 May 2008(2008-05-14) (aged 96)
London, England
Occupation Actor
Stage director
Years active 1933–2000

Frith Banbury MBE (4 May 1912 – 14 May 2008) was a British theatre actor and director.

Frith Banbury was born in Plymouth, Devon, on 4 May 1912, the son of Rear Admiral Frederick Arthur Frith Banbury and his wife Winifred (née Fink).[1] While attending Stowe School, Banbury rejected his father's naval background by refusing to join the Officer Training Corps, later becoming a conscientious objector and serving in the Friends' Ambulance Unit.[2] He went on to attend Hertford College, Oxford,[1] though he left after one year without obtaining an academic degree.[2] He trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art alongside Joan Littlewood, Rachel Kempson,[2] Robert Morley, and Peter Bull.[3] Banbury died on 14 May 2008, at the age of 96.[2][3]

Theatrical career

Banbury made his first stage appearance on 15 June 1933, playing a walk-on part in If I Were You at the Shaftesbury Theatre. He continued to act through the 1930s and 40s, appearing at such venues as the Ambassadors Theatre, the Little Theatre, the Gate Theatre, the Apollo Theatre, and the Q Theatre.[1] After World War II, Banbury was invited back to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to direct. He made his professional directing breakthrough by directing Dark Summer, a play written by fellow pacifist Wynyard Browne. Other early successes for Banbury included The Holly and the Ivy, Waters of the Moon, and The Deep Blue Sea.[2] The latter was one of three plays which Banbury directed on Broadway, with the other two being Flowering Cherry and The Right Honourable Gentleman.[4] Other locations at which Banbury directed plays include the Old Vic theatre, the Edinburgh Festival, the Chichester Festival Theatre, Paris, Dublin, South Africa, Kenya, and Australia.[1]

Selected filmography


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ian Herbert, ed. (1981). "BANBURY, Frith". Who's Who in the Theatre. 1. Gale Research Company. p. 40. ISSN 0083-9833.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Billington, Michael (2008-05-16). "Frith Banbury". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-12-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Frith Banbury, Director whose 1950s reign at the Haymarket Theatre championed writers such as Robert Bolt and Rodney Ackland". London: The Times. 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2009-12-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Frith Banbury at the Internet Broadway Database

External links