Will Any Gentleman? by Vernon Sylvaine, which was staged at the National Theatre from 5 – 13 September 1958, was NCP’s first venture into farce. Richard Moreton was the Producer.

The play is about a henpecked bank clerk who lives a dreary existence in suburban London. After a mix-up at a music hall, he finds himself onstage with ambiguously foreign magician Mendoza, who hypnotizes him into losing all of his inhibitions.

The NCP production received mixed reviews from critics. The actors in the leading roles – Donald Whittle, Geoffrey Best, Yvonne Faithful and Rurik Ronsky – all had polished performances but there was a wide gap between them and the actors in lesser roles.

One critic accused NCP of drawing ‘farce-loving fish into their net to widen their audience.’ Time, experience and many subsequent productions would eventually prove that Nairobi audiences do in fact love a farce.


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