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You Never Can Tell

Bernard Shaw

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .en the ivory snatcher—

MRS. CLANDON (remonstrating). Phil!

PHILIP. Dentist is an ugly word. The man of ivory and gold asked us whether we were the children of Mr. Densmore Clandon of Newbury Hall. In pursuance of the precepts in your treatise on Twentieth Century Conduct, and your repeated personal exhortations to us to curtail the number of unnecessary lies we tell, we replied truthfully the we didn't know.

DOLLY. Neither did we.

PHILIP. Sh! The result was that the gum architect made considerable difficulties about accepting our invitation to lunch, although I doubt if he has had anything but tea and bread and butter for a fortnight past. Now my knowledge of human nature leads me to believe that we had a father, and that you probably know who he was.

MRS. CLANDON (her agitation returning). Stop, Phil. Your father is no. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Bettie's Books

I have never read this delightful light play. Rather I saw it fifteen years ago at the Shaw Festival of Niagara-on-the-Lake where is regularly performed because it stages well and is very cheerful. "You never can tell" is Victorian fluff that should please any fan of Gilbert and Sullivan or Oscar Wi

Thoroughly delightful - funny, charming and just a joy to read.

Even trying to write a frivolous seaside comedy, Shaw couldn't help himself. The political beast that inhabited the man still forced him to squeeze in some social commentary; lucky for us, Shaw was enough of a master to make it all part of the fun.

My fun comes most from the dynamic between Gloria an

Typing difficult at the moment but I enjoyed this very much.

برضو بتلف و تدور حوالين قضية الـ New woman اللى كانت شاغلة العصر .. بس دى مش أحسن حاجة برنارد كتبها ف الاتجاه دة لأ.

#8 of my 2018 Shaw Project
3.5/5 Stars

I don't quite know what to make of this one. It is charming, and definitely it is a pleasant play as Shaw would say, but, it doesn't seem to be up to Shaw's standards. It seems cute and heavy handed more than anything else. Shaw calls this a "comedy of errors," a

A superficial examination of the elements of You Never Can Tell (1897) might entice an observer into believing he was about to experience the best G.B.S. has to offer. The Shavian preoccupations are all here: the feminist matriarch Mrs. Clandon and her three unconventional children, including a teen

This could have been a wonderful play, and it was for most of it. But the deus ex machina in the final act in the form of our mediator was extremely frustrating. Despite this, the play is still worth it and full of great characters and wit, as per usual when one deals with Mr. Shaw.

Shaw's Comedy of Errors
9 February 2016

I have to admit that I really didn't get into this play all that much, but then again I can't expect to like every one of Shaw's plays (I know that is the case with Shakespeare and the Greek playwrights). I guess there are a couple of reasons as to why I didn't

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