by Robert Duce

Sister Rogers Vera Newbold
Ann Bevers Margery Stoneham
Nurse Wang Lan Wei Frances Yunnie
Dr. Geoffrey Bevers Anthony Armstrong
Alvis Purcell David Carter
Borah Purcell Josephine Fennell
Dr. Ku Shao Hsu John Yunnie
Li Ming Fu John Bennett

Producer Myrtle Newbury
Stage Management Desmond Smith
  Andrew Cook
  Bill Newbold

Music arranged by David Sewell
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23rd - 25th May 1968
Extract from The Bedfordshire Times by Dina Morris.
This part of
the East is
so intriguing
HONGKONG is a place of tours, food, festivals, and entertainment. It is also a place where Communist agents and Christian zealots rub shoulders with the sick and the poor.

It is a place where ideals perish or are born anew amid the dirt and squalor, the drug-peddling, and the twisted mentality of its mixed population.
The island, with its Communist, Christian, and Western outlook, is, too, the scene of Robert Duce's missionary thriller "Hongkong Adventure ", presented by the Wesley Players at St. Paul's Methodist Mission Hall, Harpur Street, Bedford, last Friday.
An interesting play, which was made slightly less intriguing and stimulating than it should be by actors and actresses who were at times overcome by its momentary tensions and idealistic arguments.


Dr. Geoffrey Bevers, a solid, dependable English doctor, played in a solid, depend able manner by Anthony Armstrong, is running a clinic in Hongkong for the sick, with the help of Communist Dr. Ku Shao Hsu (John Yunnie), who has been converted from his former beliefs. They take delivery of a rare English drug which they need to cure their TB patients.
The need for that drug is, however, being felt in other quarters, mainly in the Communist People's Republic of China.
Li Ming Fu (John Bennett), a smooth-talking, fixated Communist agent in Hongkong, and friend of Dr. Bevers, steals the drug and, before the theft is discovered, sends the capsules containing the serum past frontier guards on its way to the sick in his homeland.
The problem which this play poses and which it characteristically refuses to answer is the eternal one with which the world is often faced. When you are sick, does it matter whether you are a Communist, a Jew, a Gentile or a fool?
The need to save life is felt on all sides, by all beliefs, and in "Hongkong Adventure" one is left with a sympathy for all the sick and dying, wherever they are.

Dr Ku is allowed to make that last gallant gesture which perhaps gave this play its one true moment of natural feeling among the many words spoken on politics, nationalists, and Christians when he offers to return to China to save the life of the young daughter of Li Ming Fu.
Whether it was the fault of the dialogue or the fault of the players, the play at times swung from fiction to impressionable reality. There were moments during its two-hour run when one forgot the hard benches of the missionary hall; there were others when every word seemed wooden and false.
It was, though, an adventure in amateur acting, a play which was well produced by Myrtle Newbury, despite the many difficulties encountered by an inadequate stage and facilities.


Sister Rogers (Vera Newbold) was conclusively dour and sternly disciplined as the clinic's superior assistant. Ann Bevers, the doctor's wife (Margery Stoneham was slightly stupid and delightfully dreamy as the middle-aged woman who wasn't quite clever enough herself to become a missionary, and Nurse Wang Lan Mei (Frances Yunnie) was excellent as the young girl torn between love and Communist party beliefs.
Alvis Purcell (David Carter) and North Purcell (Josephine Fennell) were typically vague and well-meaning as the English couple who delivered the drug and found the noise of squawling Hongkong was just like their budgie aviary at home!
Stage management was in the hands of Desmond Smith, Andrew Cook, and Bill Newbold. Stage manager-in-chief, David Carter; prompt, Joy Newbold; sound effects, David Eames; music, David Sewell; make-up, Mrs. E. Tarrant; front of house, Peter Beck; lighting, Andrew Cook.

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