London Assurance by Dion Boucicault is opening at Olivier Theatre London from 02 March 2010 until 02 June 2010.
Sir Harcourt Courtly is lured away from the epicentre of fashionable London by the promise of a rich and beautiful bride, Grace, several decades his junior. Arriving at Oak Hall, Gloucestershire, he marvels at this rural Venus until her charms are eclipsed by her hearty cousin, the foxhunting Lady Gay Spanker. Meanwhile his disguised son turns up in flight from his creditors and falls head over heels for Grace. When Lady Spanker discovers the young couple, she needs little prompting from the visiting chancer Dazzle to lead Sir Harcourt astray.
I am about to present society with a second Lady Courtly: young – blushing eighteen; lovely – I have her portrait; rich – I have her banker’s account. An heiress and a Venus!
Dion Boucicault, the Irish genius of London theatre in the age of Dickens, wrote the brilliantly funny London Assurance in 1841 and thereby created – in Sir Harcourt and Lady Spanker – two of the great comic roles of the English stage, played at the NT by Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw.
Give me the trumpet neigh, the spotted pack just catching scent. What a chorus in their yelp! The view-halloo, blent with a peal of free and fearless mirth! That’s our old English music – match it where you can.
Max Harkaway – Mark Addy
Mr Adolphus Spanker – Richard Briers
Richard Dazzle – Matt Cross
Servant – Fiona Drummond
Servant – Mark Extance
Martin – Richard Frame
Mr Soloman Isaacs – Junix Inocian
Mark Meddle – Tony Jayawardena
James – Simon Markey
Servant – Laura Matthews
Servant – Prasanna Puwanarajah
Charles Courtly – Paul Ready
Sir Harcourt Courtly – Simon Russell Beale
Cool – Nick Sampson
Pert – Maggie Service
Lady Gay Spanker – Fiona Shaw
Grace Harkaway – Michelle Terry
Doctor – David Whitworth
Director – Nicholas Hytner
Designer – Mark Thompson
Lighting Designer – Neil Austin
Music – Rachel Portman
Choreographer – Scarlett Mackmin
Sound Designer – John Leonard