Dion Boucicault's play is directed by Nicholas Hytner. The cast includes Richard Briers, Paul Ready, Simon Russell Beale, Fiona Shaw and Michelle Terry.
Dion Boucicault, the Irish genius of London theatre in the age of Dickens, wrote London Assurance in 1841 and thereby created in Lord Harcourt and Lady Spanker two of the great comic roles for the English stage, played in this new NT production by Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw.
Sir Harcourt Courtley is lured away from the epicentre of fashionable London by the promise of a rich and beautiful bride, Grace, forty-five years 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.