London Assurance by Dion Boucicault (1841)

And again. 13+ characters.

Act 1: London – Sir Harcourt Hartley’s House

  • Starts with servants
  • Creditors are circling
  • Last day before CHARLES COURTLY returns to college
  • COOL is “the best liar in London”
  • CHARLES picked up by RICHARD DAZZLE
  • SIR HARCOURT will marry again
  • Great jokes about GRACE HARKAWAY’s age
  • The backstory on motivation for GRACE to marry SIR HARCOURT
  • SIR HARCOURT thinks his son is a paragon of virtue
  • Use of asides
  • MAX HARKAWAY does not know what CHARLES looks like
  • Lying about ages
  • MAX mistakes DAZZLE for CHARLES
  • But when corrected thinks DAZZLE is an old friend of CHARLES
  • HARKAWAY invites DAZZLE to the wedding in Gloucestershire
  • DAZZLE turns around and pawns off HARKAWAY’s invite as his own house
  • CHARLES being pursued by creditors

Act 2: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Lawn

  • Starts with servants
  • Zingers galore about layers
  • Jokes about MEDDLE’s name
  • CHARLES sees GRACE
  • CHARLES gives MEDDLE a false name – AUGUSTUS HAMILTON
  • Everyone arrives
  • Town & Country jokes
  • CHARLES sees his father
  • CHARLES denies he is SIR HARCOURT’s son
  • Hair jokes

Act 3: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Inside

  • MAX tells SIR HARCOURT he met DAZZLE at SIR HARCOURT’s house in London
  • LADY GAY SPANKER
  • Talk about hunting
  • SIR HARCOURT falls for LADY GAY
  • SPANKER is a wanker
  • SIR HARCOURT sends a letter to CHARLES in town
  • DAZZLE hatches a plan
  • Brilliant physical comedy: “Unhand me, sir, I insist”
  • CHARLES gives LADY GAY her mission

Act 4: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Inside

  • The letter: “It is near enough to the fire where it is.”
  • CHARLES “arrives”
  • SIR HARCOURT is caught by LADY GAY

Act 5: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Outside

  • COOL is not cool
  • Disguises
  • The escape is foiled
  • The duel

Act 6: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Inside

  • The exchange of an old fool for a young one
  • The race to preempt the duel
  • Some good Jew jokes