Magical Faces

by Brian Way


Age Advice: 7 - 9

Magical Faces was first produced by Theatre Centre in 1969. As the second play based on a “faces” theme, it was written and directed by Brian Way. Presented to children in schools, Magical Faces toured the British Isles for one year.

This is the story of a town that became famous throughout the world. It has the finest art galleries and museums, the noblest cathedrals, churches and temples. The town has everything a town should have – but none of these things made it famous. Its fame arose from one thing only: no one is allowed to laugh – even smiling is forbidden. The town is ruled by a very fine man who takes himself and his duties very seriously. He is assisted by his wife – equally solemn and serious. Perhaps just a little bit more so. Mr Gravity, and Mrs Gravity, the rulers of the town.

Read a full synopsis.


(Two men and two women)

Tickelaff, the spirit of laughter: Unknown
Paul: Unknown
Mr Gravity: Unknown
Mrs Gravity: Gwen Copland

(Three companies toured with the production simultaneously in autumn 1970. The casts were as follows: Adrian Bracken, Tim Brown, Jaqui Dubin and Sue Innes; Frances Benedito, Brian Darnley, John McNulty and Margaret Watkiss; Bernard Douglas, Eleanor Thomas, Jenny Thompson and Hamilton McLeod. The producers for each company, respectively, were: Tony Wredden, Dick Brinnand and John Neal.)

Creative Team

Writer: Brian Way
Director: Brian Way
Producer: See note in brackets above with regards to the autumn 1970 tour

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.

Thanks to Linda Lewis (Gwen Copland) for the loan of a rehearsal script from which some of the information presented on this page has been gathered. Thanks also to Adrian Bracken, who toured as an actor with the ‘faces’ trilogy in late 1970 and has been able to provide us with the names of the cast at that time.

A copy of the script is held by the British Library.

"Do not let any figure in your statue have on its face even the slightest smile, let alone a laugh. Understand that. Make sure your statue does not teach the people how to smile and how to laugh."

Mrs Gravity

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