London Assurance

Definition

Theater

  • A comedy by Dion Boucicault, first produced by MadameVestris at Covent Garden in 1841; it was the first play touse a complete box set. The play's success restored the decliningfortunes of the theater and established the reputation of Boucicault(who wrote it under the pseudonym Lee Morton). In the story Sir WilliamHarcourt Courtly, an ageing Regency buck, sets out in pursuit of the youngheiress Grace Harkaway, only to be distracted by his passion for her aunt,the fox-hunting virago Lady Gay Spanker. In the first New York production (1841), the role of Lady Gay was taken by Charlotte Cushman. The play wasfrequently revived during the late 19th century. The Royal ShakespeareCompany's highly acclaimed 1972 production featured an outstandingperformance by Donald Sinden Sir William. There was also a successful revival at the National Theatre in 2010, with Simon Russell Beale in therole of Sir William and Fiona Shaw as Lady Gay.
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