Photo from the original production

Anything to Declare?

Maurice Hennequin and Pierre Vebér, translated by Laurence Senelick
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This classic and hilarious French farce commences when a customs official barges into newlyweds Robert and Paulette's train compartment at a most inopportune moment on their wedding night, rendering the poor fellow impotent. His parents-in-law demand that he consummate the marriage or it will be annulled, and Paulette will marry La Baule instead. Enter Mademoiselle Zeze, a courtesan, and let the games begin.

Production Info

Cast: 12 total (5 female, 7 male)
Full Length Comedy (about 130 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Period Costumes
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Press Quotes

“Panic is the chief ingredient of ANYTHING TO DECLARE?, a 1906 French farce … as the emergencies mount for a bashful bridegroom, his hypocritical father-in-law, a frustrated former suitor and a de-pantsed camel dealer. Farce, which requires absolute conviction in the face of increasingly absurd circumstances, may be the most fragile of theatrical forms. ANYTHING, by Feydeau contemporaries Maurice Hennequin and Pierre Veber, puts the players through some demanding paces [in] Laurence Senelick’s gleefully euphemistic translation …” —Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author


  • Maurice Hennequin

    Maurice Hennequin was a Belgian-French playwright. He was born in 1863 in Liege, Belgium. During his career, he wrote nearly 100 plays, many in collaboration with other authors, including Pierre Veber and Georges Feydeau. He died in 1926 in Montreux, Switzerland.

  • Laurence Senelick

    Laurence Senelick is Fletcher Professor Emeritus of Drama and Oratory at Tufts University. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard. His expertise is in Russian theatre and drama, history of popular entertainment, gender and performance, history of directing, classical theory. Prof. Senelick is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, the most recent being, The Final Curtain: The Art of Dying on Stage; The Crooked Mirror: Plays of a Modernist Russian Cabaret; Soviet Theatre: A Documentary History; Stanislavsky: A Life in Letters; The American Stage: Writing on the American Theatre (Library of America) and A Historical Dictionary of Russian Theatre. Others books include: The Chekhov Theatre: A Century of the Plays in Performance and The Changing Room: Sex, Drag, and Theatre, as well as over a hundred articles in learned journals. He is a former Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin. Prof. Senelick was named Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. Prof. Senelick has been named a Distinguished Scholar by both the American Society of Theatre Research and the Faculty Research Awards Council of Tufts University. He is the recipient of grants and awards from, among others, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. He has received the Barnard Hewitt Award of the American Society for Theatre Research for The Chekhov Theatre; the George Freedley Award of the Theatre Library Association for The Age and Stage of George L. Fox and The Changing Room; and the George Jean Nathan Award for best dramatic criticism of 2000. He holds the St. George medal of the Russian Ministry of Culture for services to Russian art and scholarship, and is honorary curator of Russian theatre at the Harvard Theatre Collection. He was also awarded a stipend from the TranScript/Mikhail Prokhorov Fund for Translation from the Russian. In 2008 he won the Graduate Teaching award (doctoral level) of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools and in 2012 the Betty Jean Jones Prize of American Theatre and Drama Society for Distinguished Teaching. He is a widely produced translator of plays from such authors as Chekhov and Feydeau, and director at Tufts of his own translations of The Inspector General, The Bakkhai, and Anything to Declare? He has acted and directed with such organizations as the Poets' Theatre, the Loeb Drama Center, the Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Baroque, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the revue The Proposition. He recently devised new courses on Cabaret, Theatre and Visual Studies, and Low Comedy and played Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape at the Balch Arena Theatre. His recipes appear in the Bon Appetit cookbooks.

  • Pierre Veber

    Pierre-Eugène Veber (1869 – 1942) was a prolific French playwright and writer. The author of over 100 plays and nearly fifty novels, collections of short stories, and humorous and ironic tales, he frequently collaborated with Maurice Hennequin.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 9/1/1997
Pages 106
ISBN 9780881451337

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

Originally produced at the Théâtre des Nouveautés, Paris

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Anything to Declare? is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC