You Never Can Tell

April 17, 2017

You Never Can Tell is a charming light comedy set in an English seaside town and tells the story of Mrs. Clandon and her three children, Dolly, Phillip and Gloria, who have just returned to England after an eighteen-year stay in Madeira. The children have no idea who their father is and, without realizing, end up inviting him to a family lunch. At the same time a dentist named Mr. Valentine has fallen in love with the eldest daughter, Gloria. However, Gloria considers herself a modern woman and claims to have no interest in love or marriage. The play continues with a comedy of errors and confused identities, with the friendly and wise waiter dispensing his wisdom with the prophetic “…you never can tell.”

Shaw wrote this sparkling comedy to help himself pull out of a depression, reminding himself that there was only so much control we can have over the world around us and that it’s still better to be an active participant in our own lives than as observers on the side lines. We’re sure to hit the wall from time to time, he reasoned, but we still have to get up and out there. After all, you never can tell what’s waiting for us around the corner.


Dolly Clandon — Ms. Midori Francis
Valentine — Mr. Tony Roach
Philip Clandon — Mr. Tom Duke
Gloria Clandon — Ms. Susannah Perkins
Mrs. Clandon — Ms. Michele Pawk
Mr. Crampton — Mr. Jonathan Hadary
The Waiter — Mr. Lenny Wolpe
Finch McComas — Mr. Raphael Nash Thompson
Walter Bohun — Mr. Marc LeVasseur
Narrator — Ms. Susan Haskins-Doloff

directed by David Staller

Scene: At the Seaside

ACT I: A Dentist’s Operating-room. Morning.
ACT II: The Marine Hotel. Luncheon.
ACT III: Sitting-room in the Hotel. Afternoon Tea.
ACT IV: Sitting-room in the Hotel. After Dinner.

Time: The Present (1896): August