Inclusive Dates: 1997
Roundabout Theatre Company produced London Assurance at the Criterion Center, Stage Right, with previews beginning April 16, opening night on April 30, and closing night on June 29, 1997. The production was nominated for Tony awards for best actor (Bedford) and best featured actress (Carey) with Helen Carey winning the Theatre World award for her portrayl of Lady Gay Spanker.
The production ran with a twenty minute intermission, with general tickets priced at $55.00. Stefan Kanfer writing for The New Leader in April 1997, said "Director Joe Dowling has handled all the plots and subplots with a maximum of entrances and exits, eavesdropping, plotting, betrayals and double-takes. In lesser hands it might have been too frantic; Dowling keeps the proceedings crisp and comic. Catherine Zuber's costumes are grand jests all to themselves, helped enormously by Derek McLane's inventive sets. In the big roles, no improvement would be possible."
Directed by Joe Dowling, with set design by Derek McLane, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Blake Burba, sound design by Mark Bennett and hair and wig design by Paul Huntley.
John Horton played Cool, Robert Neill played Martin, Rainn Wilson played Charles Courtley, Christopher Evan Welch played Richard Dazzle, Brian Bedford played Sir Harcourt Courtly, David Schramm played Max Harkaway, Andrew Weems played Mr. Solomon Isaacs, Kathryn Meisle played Grace Harkaway, Rita Pietropinto played Pert, John Christopher Jones played Mark Meddle, Mathew Schneck played James, Helen Carey played Lady Gay Spanker, and Ken Jennings played Mr. Adolphus Spanker. Understudies: Robin Chadwick, Andrew Weems, Robert Neill, Matthew Schneck, Victoria Beavan.
Written by Dion L. Boucicault in 1841, London Assurance is written in the style of a comedy of manners, a genre in which manners, customs and English society are satirized. Works written in the 18th century emphasized the contrast between country manners and the sophistication of the city dweller. The play was first produced at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden with Madame Vestris playing Grace Harkaway. In the 1970s the play was adapted for BBC television. In 1989, director Sam Mendes staged a production at the Chichester Festival Theatre, which later transferred to London. London's Royal National Theatre staged a revival in 2010 with Fiona Shaw as Lady Gay Spanker.
The production files consist of 1 Hollinger Box containing production documentation, scripts, press clippings, playbills, and administrative files. Collection includes only select documents detailing artistic vision for the play (set, costume, and sound design).
Photograph folder contains extensive 8 x 10 black and white production prints, full set of black and white contact sheets for images of Helen Carey, three color slides, full set of black and white production contact sheets, and black and white head shots.
Digital file contains three versions of production script, scanned photographs, scanned press clippings, scanned playbill, scanned color costume sketches, scanned education guide, video b-roll, show art used by the marketing department to promote the production, select stage management documents and script changes.
Marketing mock up folder contains various versions of artwork and advertising drafts.
Access Restrictions: Open and available for research by appointment only.
Preferred Citation: London Assurance (1997), Roundabout Theatre Company Archives
Library of Congress Subject Heading Boucicault, Dion, 1859-1929Haimes, ToddRichard, EllenCarey, Helen, 1944-Jennings, KenJones, John ChristopherNeill, RobertSchramm, DavidWeems, AndrewWelch, Christopher EvanWilson, Rainn, 1968-McLane, DerekZuber, CatherineBedford, Brian, 1935-2016Burba, BlakeDowling, Joe, 1948-comedy of mannersRoundabout Theatre Company