An Ensemble member at the Shaw Festival since 1986, Guy Bannerman appears this season as Lieutenant Brannigan in Guys and Dolls, and as Parker in Lady Windermere’s Fan. Last season, Guy played Grandfather in Ragtime and Wilson, one of the jaded newspaper reporters, in His Girl Friday.
He has appeared in more than 50 productions at The Shaw including: On the Rocks, John Bull’s Other Island (2010), Harvey, Star Chamber, The Stepmother, The President, Summer and Smoke, The Kiltartan Comedies, The Invisible Man, The Crucible, You Never Can Tell, Bus Stop, Man and Superman, The Importance of Being Earnest, Caesar and Cleopatra (2002), The Doctor’s Dilemma, Brothers in Arms, In Good King Charles’s Golden Days, The Secret Life, Rashomon, The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles, The Petrified Forest, Cavalcade, Busman’s Honeymoon, The Front Page, Saint Joan (1993), The Silver King, Drums in the Night, This Happy Breed, Peter Pan (1987-88), and Geneva. Guy’s musical debut in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Shadow Play (2001) was followed by appearances in On the Twentieth Century and Happy End. He also performs frequently in the Reading Series, including 2002’s archy and mehitabel (the Narrator), recorded for CBC Radio; Lilies, by Michel Marc Bouchard (2007) and Jason Sherman’s The League of Nathans (2008).
Guy’s first appearance on the professional stage was at the Crest Theatre in Toronto in 1958, when he played thirteen-year-old Howard in Inherit the Wind, followed by several appearances with the Straw Hat Players in Port Carling and Peterborough. As a somewhat older young actor, Guy spent several seasons with the Stratford Festival, and then moved to Barrie, Ontario, as a founding member of the Gryphon Theatre Company there. In the 1970’s, he returned to Toronto to join Leon Major’s company at the St. Lawrence Centre, and also performed with Open Circle Theatre, New Theatre, Toronto Free Theatre and Factory Theatre Lab.
After returning to Vancouver, where he was born, Guy spent several seasons with the Vancouver Playhouse, and appeared at the Arts Club Theatre (notably as Rocket Richard in Les Canadiens and in Shadow Box with Janet Wright and Michael J. Fox).
In 1983, Guy returned to London, Ontario, to join Robin Phillips’ Grand Theatre Company.
More recently, Guy appeared in Toronto in Factory Theatre’s production of Missing, and as Hans Blix in the Studio 180/Mirvish production of David Hare’s Stuff Happens, and frequently at Rochester’s Geva Theatre Centre, notably as Dr. Gibbs in Our Town, as Jack in The Weir, and as Christmas Present or Mr. Fezziwig in five productions of A Christmas Carol.
Television series credits include Leo and Me with Michael J. Fox, Love and Hate: The Colin Thatcher Story, and Lt Murphy in the teenage detective series Daring and Grace on CBC/YTV. Guy is heard as Mr Bear in the animated series Rupert Bear. Recently, he has been seen on Warehouse 13 (Syfy), The Firm (NBC) and Murdoch Mysteries (Shaftesbury).
As a teacher at The Shaw, Guy joins actress Sharry Flett for Manners of the Mandate, a program devised by Sharry and others to introduce company members to the customs and costumes of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. This very popular program has also been presented at several universities, especially as preparation for student productions from The Shaw’s mandate period (1856-1950, the lifetime of Bernard Shaw). A shortened version is available to the public.
Guy’s creative talents also extend into the fields of writing and directing. He has been active in new play development, and as a guest director and artist-in-residence, and has written articles on contemporary theatre. After early university studies in modern languages, he received an MA (Drama) from Essex University (UK) in 1988. He permanently resides, with his wife and two children, in Niagara-on-the-Lake.