Uncharacteristically, NCP disappointed both critics and audiences with the mystery/thriller The House by the Lake by Hugo Mills and directed by Robert Beaumont who shouldered much of the blame, particularly due to his unimaginative direction of the actors.  Apparently, the 3-act play was slow-moving and the players were often inaudible. The Director blamed the air-conditioning at the Kenya National Theatre but overall the production failed to impress and the critics did not hold back with their negative comments. The London critics also hated the play so perhaps NCP backed a loser from the outset.

Errol Trzebinski was singled out for her inaudible performance while Sbish Trzebinski was also deemed to have had an unworthy performance.  On the positive side, Bryan Epsom gave a strong performance as the self-made man, as did Gwen Alban as his brow-beaten wife.

The play ran from 21-30 September 1961 and NCP must have felt somewhat dejected as they prepared for the upcoming Drama Festival the following month.

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