Brush With a Body

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Brush With a Body is a comedy in three acts written by Maurice McLoughlin (1916 – 1970)[1].

The original text

In Sybil Walling's absence her children call in the chimney-sweep, whose brushes dislodge not only soot but a body. When Sybil returns she tells them that, just before he died twenty years ago, their father had killed a Soho gangster and had hidden the body in the chimney. The police descend in pursuit of an amorous patient of Sybil's son Henry, which leads to hilarious misunderstandings and surprises.

First performed professionally in 1962 at St Martin's Theatre, London and published by Samuel French, 1963.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1964: Produced (possibly as Brush With Death?) and directed by Ivy Foster at the St John's Methodist Church Hall, Port Elizabeth, from October 30 to November 7, with Leandra Feneysey (Sarah Walling), Anne Paterson (Cynthia Walling), Alfred Porter (Mr Flaherty, the Sweep), Marjorie Mills (Mrs D'Arcy, the housekeeper), David Cuthbert, (Henry Walling), Bruce Erasmus (Paul Martell), Maisie Hutchison (Sybil Walling), Basil McGrath, Michael Mills (Sergeant Bray), Sheelagh Opperman (Rosita Hernandez) and Jillian Keefe (The Hon Pamela Colefax). Proceeds of the production went to the Walmer Methodist Church and the South African Blind Workers' Organisation (Easter Province Branch).

1970: Presented as Brush With a Body by Pretoria Intimate Theatre in the Breytenbach Theatre, Pretoria, 22 July – 1 August.


Theatrical programme Brush With Death(?), 1964

In Pretoria booklet, July 1970.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page