In 1975 the success of the show lead to the release of a board game. The game was made by Bradgate Wholesale Division of Palitoy Ltd. who were based in Coalville, Leicester.
The game was for 2-6 players from the age of eight upwards and was billed as a ‘laugh a minute showbiz game.’
The basic objective of the game was to navigate your way through the showbusiness circuit by moving from audition through New Faces and onto the star circuit with the winner being the first player to accumulate £20,000 after moving through all three circuits on the board.
Selecting Performer Type
Before starting the game the players rolled the die to decide what type of performer they would play as, with the highest score having the first choice. The performer types and respective colours were;
- Musician – Blue
- Impressionist – Red
- Comedian – Yellow
- Ventriloquist – Green
- Mimic – Brown
- Singer – Orange
NB: These colours seem to have changed in later versions of the game, but each performer type would have been allocated a different colour.
There are three types of card used in the game. They are;
- Act Cards
These cards are colur coded to match the playing pieces and have instructions on the reverse. The acts cards are obtained in one of three ways
– Landing on the appropriate square on the board
– Buying one from an opponent for £3,000
– Landing on a swop square
- Star Quality, Presentation and Content Cards
These cards are only used on the New Faces circuit of the board, the middle circuit. A player must collect one of each of these cards to enable them to perform their act.
- Showbiz Cards
These are picked up when landing on a Showbiz square on the board and some contain good news, while others contain bad news. Examples include ‘You’re a stand-in. Perform any act you hold. Audition circuit only’ and ‘Booking Fee. Fred’s Transport Kaff – receive £1,000’
New Faces Spinner
One final and important piece of the game is the double sided New Faces spinner. One side is used to decide Audience reaction, when playing on the Audition and Star circuits and the other to determine scores for Content, Presentation and Star Quality when playing on the New Faces circuit.
The Audience Reaction side has either applause or a yawning character, while the New Faces side has scores that when added up determine the final score for each act as they try to win their New Faces show.
The playing board is split into three circuits, Audition (outer) , New Faces (middle) and Star (inner) with each circuit having its own start square, which players must start from when moving between circuits.
The aim of the first circuit is for each player to try to get their own act card. They do this by either;
- Landing on a square that features two of the act categories, e.g. Music or Impression, and the player then choses which of the two cards they want to select
- Purchasing a card from an opponent for £3,000
- Landing on a Swop! square which allows them to switch one of their act cards with an opponet
Around this circuit the players can earn money by landing on various Booking Fee squares and they can even get a free pass to the New Faces circuit if they land on the ‘Stand-in required’ square.
Once a player has his own act card they immediately perform one of the six acts listed on the reverse of the card. Once the act is finished the audience reaction spinner is used to determine the success of the act. If the spinner reveals a yawning character the act has failed to impress and the player stays on the audition circuit. If the spinner reveals an applause character the player moves to the start square of the New Faces circuit and they begin their television journey.
Beware, this circuit is littered with penalties too, which can prevent a player’s progress in the game. If your manager disappears with your takings that could cost you £1,000 or if you dry-up at an audition you may have to return all your collected act cards and being late for an audition forces you to miss a turn.
New Faces Circuit
The aim of the New Faces circuit is to receive a high enough score to ‘win’ New Faces and move up the the Star circuit.
To do this the player must collect their own act card as well as one each of the Content, Presentation and Star Quality cards by moving around the circuit and landing on the appropriate squares. One the relevant cards have been collected the player once again performs their act and this time they are scored with the New Faces side of the spinner. If their total score is five or more they progress to the Star circuit, but score less than a five and they continue of the New Faces circuit waiting for a chance to try again.
There are fewer penalty squares on the New Faces circuit, however, you can still get caught out with a bad Showbiz card. The only square that gives a player a disadvantage is ‘Stagefright’ which forces a player to lose one of their act cards.
Once on the Star circuit the players are on the final race to reach star status. The first player to earn £20,000 by performing their act at various top venues while avoiding the many penalty squares, including Agent’s fees, Income tax and Casino losses is declared the winner.
Each time the player lands on one of the many star squares they are able to select one of their own act cards from the pile and perform one of the options on the reverse. In the same way as in the audition circuit a spin of the audience reaction spinner decides if the booking fee is paid or not and if it is the player adds the fee to their cash pile.
The one square they want to avoid on the final circuit is ‘Start All Over Again.’ Land on this and the player moves back to the Audition circuit, however, they do get to keep all money and cards they have collected so far, but they have to navigate their way back to the top of the showbusiness ladder before they can win the game.
Where to buy
While the game is unsurprisingly no longer produced good quality second hand versions can be picked up on various websites