Already closed | 2h 30m | Chelsea

London Assurance

From 95 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Delightful, Great staging

About the show

A parade of eccentric characters and merry mishaps ensue in Dion Boucicault's 1841 comedy of manners. More…

From the show:

In this high-spirited farce, the vain and lustful Sir Harcourt Courtly travels to Oak Hall to meet his bride-to-be, the charming young Grace Harkaway, whose hand comes with £15,000 a year. But when the beautiful and vibrant Lady Gay Spanker joins the party, Sir Harcourt becomes too enamored with her to notice that Grace is falling in love with his young son Charles, who has arrived in disguise, pursued by his creditors! A parade of eccentric characters and merry mishaps ensue in this classic comedy of manners.

This beloved play catapulted the then 20-year-old Dion Boucicault to fame when it premiered at London’s Covent Garden in March of 1841. It was the beginning of a long and storied career for the young Irish actor/playwright, who is considered one of the most successful and influential theatrical figures of the 19th Century.

Member Reviews (95)


Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Delightful, Great staging
Avg Score

Great acting, Contrived, Fluffy, Funny, Delightful

See it if Excellent comic stage presence made the hijinks work. Witty wordplay with expressive Elizabethan language. Detailed period set & costumes.

Don't see it if You are uninterested in a 19th century romantic farce that goes on for 2 1/2 hours. Simple characters, elaborate speech.

Also Sir Harcourt opens the play with his cheeks bright red from excessive ... Read more Read less

Fluffy, Delightful, Great staging, Entertaining, Dated

See it if to see an elegantly staged 19th C farce, wherein love triangles, deceptions & hijinx abound and lead to a predictable (but satisfying) end.

Don't see it if u seek something heady, deep or contemporary; u don't appreciate 19th Century comedy of manners; u expect the biting wit of Shaw or Wilde.

Great staging, Dated, Slow, Entertaining, Funny

See it if Moore's brisk, fluid staging on a stylish turntable set & a comic ensemble impeccably led by McPhillamy & Pickup keep the hijinks bubbling

Don't see it if An early Boucicault voyage in comedic playwriting had yet to reach the heights of later, more skillfully plotted works Not w/out its charms

Thought-provoking, Fluffy, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if A farce is a farce is a farce .It amazes that it was written 200 years ago (just short of 20 years ) Not a weak link in the cast of 10.

Don't see it if See also for positive and negative When the theater was redesigned a few years ago, why were the seats not realigned?

Also Not only great scenic design it puts many Broadway houses to shame) bu... Read more Read less

Fluffy, Funny, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful

See it if curious about playwright, enjoy verbal farce, actors creating great characters, deliciously complicated plot, exquisite set

Don't see it if farce is not your thing, don't like plays from the 1850's, not in the mood for frivolous yet artful comedy, slightly overdone characters

Witty performance, Hilarious, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful

See it if you're interested in an exquisite production where every raised brow & bouncing curl conveys subtle meaning and lots of fun.

Don't see it if 19th Century farce bores you. The plot is thin with no redeeming social value except for a good time.

Period farce, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful

See it if Witty period farce has a foppish papa and his disguised pup in a love triangle over an engagement weekend. Great unaware lead and revolve.

Don't see it if If disabling the woke-metre, you'll be delivered what this Company excels: directing, acting, writing, set,and costume in a protective time.

Predictable, Interesting to see such an old play performed, Dated, Entertaining

See it if silly, amusing play.

Don't see it if you want to see something new or something serious.

Clever, Great staging, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you like an old fashioned farce from 1841. Dialogue is typical of that time and is a little heavy handed. Good acting and staging.

Don't see it if you don't like old plays with old fashioned dialogue. Don't see if you like modern sophisticated dramas.

Also The dialogue is very funny and witty. The character of the lawyer coul... Read more Read less

Excruciating, Confusing

See it if you like stories that take place in the mid-1800s

Don't see it if You are expecting this to be a funny farce

Also I didn’t understand what was going on in the first scene and I never c... Read more Read less

Great staging, Fluffy, Indulgent, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy old fashioned British plays of manners, where the outcome is always inevitable, period costumes and sometimes confusing plots.

Don't see it if you do not like old fashioned plays, silliness and unwarranted confusion of plot line.

Also Acting was good and the staging, given the limited space, was very wel... Read more Read less

Boucicault antique with laughs, set and costumes

See it if 1841 costume comedy of sex and manners, Rich English buffoons parade through grand revolving set. Old-fashioned laughs

Don't see it if You don't like 19th century language -- and actors mugging at the audience. Rachel Pickup is very amusing as Lady 'Gay Spanker.

Funny, Intelligent, Fluffy, Great acting, Delightful

See it if you are in the mood for an intelligent comedy. Plot is absurd but it all works.

Don't see it if you don't like farces or anything old fashioned. I usually don't like farces but this one was intelligent and entertaining.

Delightful, Great staging, Funny, Entertaining

See it if 19th cent, comedy of manners with funny dialogue and characters (including their names); light, entertaining farce; beautiful costumes & set

Don't see it if don't like farces, period pieces, plot twists, over-the-top characters. Want deep social commentary. (A little bit on vanity.)

Dated, Slow, Ambitious

See it if You like old costume zany silly plot plays.

Don't see it if You want a modern zany silly plot play. This is very dated. Mistaken identity, stereotypes, love betrayed...two and a half long long hours.

Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Funny, Delightful

See it if you like a British farce that was written a hundred and fifty years ago. Times have changed, but this was really funny and enjoyable.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy old plays or farces.

Why?, Disappointing, Dated, Dull

See it if you want to see the kind of work that would have inspired Oscar Wilde, or if drawing room farces are your thing.

Don't see it if you've had your fill of this kind of thing.

Also As so often happens at the Irish Rep, the actors seem to be overly enc... Read more Read less

Energetic, Fluffy, Great staging, Funny

See it if you want to see a comedy of manners, over the top, and quite amusing.

Don't see it if you're looking for a message or characterizations that delve into meaningful insights.

Great writing, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if like to laugh at an old play. see great acting (the older actors steal the show). how shows used to be. why is this not known more.

Don't see it if want serious only. show is meant to please with a slight hint of the importance of women.

Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if You want to delight in a stunning production of a lesser known comedy from 19th century in an intimate off Broadway setting

Don't see it if You have trouble with accents or period pieces

Wonderful production values and a more-than-game cast banish the mothballs in this vintage farce.

See it if You like classic plays that make you laugh.

Don't see it if You have no patience for the classic elements of farce: mistaken identity, eavesdropping, and people pretending to be in love with someone.

Also London Assurance dates from 1841, and no one would mistake it for a Gu... Read more Read less

Great acting, Entertaining, Farce, Charming, Fun

See it if You just want to have fun with a cast who are having a lot of fun.

Don't see it if You are looking for a serious drama or dark comedy.

Also Frothy fun for New Year’s Eve complete with champagne at intermission ... Read more Read less

Fluffy, Great costumes & set design, Fun characters, well-played, Very dated, Entertaining

See it if you'd like a brief respite from 21st century NYC to travel back in time & place with frivolous people; a comedy of manners & lots of laughs

Don't see it if you expect erudite & caustic wit; this one has very old-fashioned stereotypes & instantly forgettable farce; "much ado about nothing"

Also I love the Irish Rep; they always have great seasonal offerings. This ... Read more Read less

Witless men, Smart women, Funny, Fun

See it if Top tier production values, terrific acting especially Pickup and the fabulous McPhillamy. Witty and not overly slapstick.

Don't see it if You have to stay alert to follow all the plot twists and catch all the witticisms so grab some caffeine and enjoy.

Funny, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever

See it if You like British farce. The story was like a Shakespearean love tale with twists and turns. Loved this story. Must see

Don't see it if You do not like comedy. Or farce

December 15th, 2019
"‘London Assurance’ Minds Its Manners: A 19th-century comedy from Dion Boucicault, at the Irish Repertory Theater, showcases some delicious characters in an imperfect vehicle."
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December 15th, 2019
3/5 Stars "Inspires more grins more than guffaws. But while this antique can never truly shake off all its dust, Moore is blessed to have gifted stage vet McPhillamy in the central role...It's a testament to the artistry of this production that it makes the play so assuredly agreeable."
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December 15th, 2019
"London Assurance is a Victorian Comedy About Old Man Swagger: Dion Boucicault's breakthrough comedy gets a revival at the Irish Rep."
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January 2nd, 2020
"'London Assurance' is a perfect whirligig of complications, all of them neatly tidied up, in time for the final curtain, by a playwright more interested in symmetry than reality."
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