Two Gentlemen of Soho was NCP’s first ever entry in the Kenya Drama Festival in March 1958. The Festival ( for one-act plays) was run annually over four nights at the National Theatre and attracted entries from drama groups all over Kenya.

The play by A.P. Herbert is a one-act comedy obviously set in Soho in the Twenties. A detective from Scotland Yard is working undercover at a nightclub in the hopes of discovering after hours drinking. Meanwhile, a private detective is following the Duchess of Canterbury in the hopes of finding her in a compromising situation.

NCP won the main prize – the Festival Challenge Shield – of the Drama Festival and Mary Epsom won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Lady Laetitia. The Chief Adjudicator, Mr Norman Marshall, remarked that the NCP entry was ‘up to fair professional standard.’

Another critic described NCP as being ‘thoroughly rehearsed and their team-work was exceptionally good.  The play had a case of eight – three ladies and five gentlemen.  Neither the cast nor the name of the producer are recorded.

Clearly, NCP had raised the standard of their performance from the much-criticized Romanoff and Juliet just over a month earlier. Two Gentlemen of Soho was NCP’s 6th production and the Drama Festival win confirmed NCP’s reputation as Kenya’s leading drama group in 1958.

Leave a comment