London Assurance

By Dion Boucicaust.

Directed by Terry McCabe.

At City Lit Theatre, Chicago.

Cute comedy of manners delivers laughs.

The first production of London Assurances in 120 years (1897) was worth the wait! London Assurances is one of Britian’smost popular comedies of the standard classical repertoire since it was first mounted on stage in 1841. It is considered a transitional play between the 18th century comedies od Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Oliver  Goldsmith and the late 19th Century plays of Oscar Wilde. To me, it is a comedy of manners. It is a staple of British theatre rhat now finds a home in Chicago at City Lit.

London Assurance is a comedy that concerns 18-year old Grace Harkaway (Kat Evans), who considers herself immune to love and only plans to marry for money with the 63-year-old  Sir Harcourt Courtly (Kingsley Day).  Then she meets his son, Charles (Kraig Kelsey), who, unaware of his father’s engagement to Grace, begins to woo her. Things get quite complicated when Sir Harcourt meets and becomes taken with the commanding and horse-riding Lady Gay Spanker (Cameron Feagin).

This wacky comedy is a near-farce with over-the-top characters that are lovable and  unpredictable. Once many of the players slow down and speak a tad slower with stronger articulation, this smart comedy would garner even more laughs. Kingsley Day, Cameron Feagin and David Fink lead a ‘game’ cast of players totally committed to Boucicaust’s ambitious play!

Kudos to Terry McCabe for keeping the action moving. His cast delivers the humor with deft aplomb making London Assurance a most enjoyable old fashion commedy of manners. We, Americans, can’t seem to get onough British humor; London Assurance has that aplenty.

Recommended.

Tom Williams.

Jeff Recommended.

At City Lit Theatre, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago, IL, call 773-293-3682, www.citylit.org, tickets $32, seniors $27,  Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes with intermission.

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