Grinling Gibbons and the Plague of London

by Brian Way


Age Advice: Junior and Senior High

Grinling Gibbons and the Plague of London was first produced by Theatre Centre in 1955. It was written and directed by the author and toured throughout the Brisish Isles for a year.

The play is based on a story, The Carved Cartoon, by Austin Clare. The play opens with Robert and his mother descending into a bomb shelter during the 1941 London Blitz, and goes on to depicts the early struggles of the famous young carver Grinling Gibbons, set against the background of seventeenth century London at the time of The Great Plague and The Great Fire.


(Eight men and two women)

Mother, Robert (her son), 1st Death-cart Man, 2nd Death-cart Man, A Man, A Woman, Grinling Gibbons, Leah Benoni, Simeon Benoni (her father), Silvio Doria (an Italian boy), Jack Foster (a sailor), Man with Plague, 1st Old Lady, Announcer, A Woman, A Voice, Madame de Boord (a French pedlar), Sir George Viner, A Baker, Maidservant to Doctor Burnett, Mater Guildford (an Apothecary), Dr Burnett, 1st Watchman, 2nd Watchman, Dr Christopher Wren, 1st Constable, Magistrate, Clerk, A Jailer, Fred Stubbs, A Man in the Fire, King Charles II, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Courtiers, John Evelyn, Lady Springfield, Queen Catherine, Courtiers, Footman

Creative Team

Writer: Brian Way
Director: Brian Way

The information on this page has been gathered from archive materials and is incomplete. Do you have more information about this play, or were you involved in its production? Let us know by leaving a comment below or contacting us.

A copy of the script (for the original radio play only) is held by the British Library.

"This necklace is not of ebony but of common wood, stained black. I should know, noble sir - none better, for I made it myself and have just sold it to madame here for a price I should not have taken had it been of more costly material."

Grinling Gibbons

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