Irish actor and playwright Dion Boucicault penned many well known works in the 19th century, with melodramas and adaptations of French stories making up his well known pieces. Amongst them was a particularly well known play by the name of “London Assurance”, which was first staged at Covent Garden in 1841 and featured a cast of then-well known actors. The result was immediate success and the play has been remembered to this day, particularly for is comic tones and the celebrated comedy characters – Sir Harcourt and Lady Spankers.
This is cemented by the new staging of “London Assurance” on the Olivier stage of the National Theatre, which is set to open its doors in March 2010. The show will feature a star cast of Richard Briers and Fiona Shaw alongside he likes of Simon Russell Beale and Michelle Terry, whilst directing duties fall on the National Theatre’s Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner.
“London Assurance” is a brilliantly funny story chronicling intertwining and tangling love lives. Our main focus is on Sir Harcourt Courtley, who has been promised a young bride called Grace and he is subsequently lured from his upmarket London home. But when he arrives he does not fall for Grace, but for her fox-hunting cousin Lady Gay Spanker. The love triangle is complete when Courtley’s disguised son arrives on the scene and falls in love with the original bride-to-be.
Richard Briers shocked many people last year when he announced that he would be making his final stage performance in “Endgame” at the Duchess Theatre. However, this was nothing compared to the shock he created by pulling out of the production before it opened. It is not yet known if “London Assurance” will be his final stage appearance, but it will be an unbeatable opportunity to witness a national treasure at home in the theatre. The actor has enjoyed a long career and has television credits that include “The Good Life”, “Doctor Who”, “The Norman Conquests” and “If You See God, Tell Him”.
His co-star Fiona Shaw is a regular performer of the National Theatre and was most recently seen in “Mother Courage and Her Children” in 2009. Her other stage credits include a wealth of productions across various decades, including “As You Like It” in 1984, “Hedda Gabler” in 1991 and “Medea” in 2000.
“London Assurance” is at the Olivier National Theatre from Wednesday 10th March 2010 (previews from Tuesday 2nd March 2010) to Thursday 3rd June 2010.
||Tuesday, 2nd March 2010
||Thursday, 3rd June 2010
||Selected dates, please check times