London Assurance by Dion Boucicault and Richard Bean (1841)

Takes place over three days.

Sir Harcourt Courtly
Charles Courtly

Richard Dazzle

Max Harkaway
Grace Harkaway

Adolphus Spanker
Lady Gay Spanker

Mark Meddle

Solomon Isaacs

Cool (Sir Harcourt’s Valet)
Martin (Sir Harcourt’s Servant)
James (Harkaway’s servant)
Pert (Grace’s maid)

Act One: London – Sir Harcourt’s House

  • Starts with servants (Cool and Martin)
  • Charles has been out all night again – 5th night in a row
  • Harcourt has no idea of his son’s adventures
  • Charles owes money, creditors looking for him
  • Charles comes home just as Harcourt rings his bell
  • Charles returns to college tomorrow
  • Charles comes home with Dazzle
  • Charles has vandalized the neighborhood
  • Mr. Cool is the best liar in London
  • Charles and Dazzle hide as Sir Harcourt enters
  • Sir Harcourt is headed to Harkaway’s house
  • Why? To marry an 18 year old
  • If he marries her, he gets a special dowry
  • Sir Harcourt thinks his son is an innocent
  • Harkaway enters
  • The first Lady Courtly eloped
  • Sir Harcourt is 57 but claims to be 39
  • Grace must either marry Harcourt or be poor
  • Harcourt leaves for his toilet
  • Dazzle meets Harkaway
  • Harkaway thinks he is Charles
  • Harkaway invites Dazzle to the wedding of Harcourt and Grace
  • Charles attempts to kick Dazzle out
  • Dazzle invites Charles down to “his house”
  • Solomon Isaacs comes looking for money
  • Charles and Dazzle run off to the country

Act Two: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Lawn

  • Later that day
  • Start with the servants (James and Pert)
  • The house is expecting Harcourt
  • Meddle – the gossip lawyer, looking for info
  • Dazzle and Charles arrive
  • Charles sees Grace
  • Dazzle tells Meddle that Charles’s name is Augustus Hamilton
  • Dazzle gets Meddle’s name wrong – Piddle, Fiddle, Puddle
  • Harcourt arrives
  • Cool recognizes Charles
  • Charles denies who he is
  • Meddle tries to hustle everyone
  • Cool shuts him down

Act Three: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Interior

  • Two days later
  • Max and Harcourt want to kick out Dazzle and Charles
  • Harcourt has written to London for his son
  • A rat!
  • A crack in the ruse – Max says he met Dazzle at Harcourt’s house
  • Lady Gay Spanker arrives
  • She likes to hunt
  • She really likes to hunt
  • Harcourt falls for her
  • Enter Dolly the dolt
  • Cool knows what’s going on re: Charles acting as Augustus
  • Dazzle proposes a scheme to help Charles get Grace
  • En route, he nabs 100 pounds from Harcourt
  • Dazzle gets Charles to sign a promissory note
  • Grace is falling for Charles
  • Charles declares his love
  • Charles slips up
  • Lady Gay interrupts the kiss
  • Charles asks Lady Gay to play along
  • She agrees to go after Harcourt

Act Four: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Interior

  • Later that night
  • Grace and Lady Gay
  • A note from Charles: He has left
  • One of the all time great lines: “It is near enough to the fire where it is.”
  • Dolly gets feisty
  • Charles arrives back from London as himself
  • Grace knows what’s going on
  • Charles claims Augustus died in a road accident
  • Meddle arrives and hides to listen on on Harcourt and Lady Gay
  • Lady Gay proposes they leave tomorrow
  • Meddle tells Spanker what he thinks he knows as Lady Gay listens
  • ¬†Lady Gay tells Charles to take her carriage tomorrow

Act Five: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Interior

  • Cool is not cool with this
  • Harcourt gives him notices of the elopement to distribute
  • Lady Gay arrives for the carriage and wants to call it off
  • Setting up a duel between Dolly and Harcourt

Act Six: Gloucestershire – Oak Hall – Interior

  • Trying to prevent the duel
  • They stop it, but Dolly freaks out
  • A pile on
  • Harcourt releases Grace
  • Grace pretends to still be bound
  • She says she loved Augustus
  • Meddle comes in with Solomon Isaacs
  • Some strong anti-semitic jokes about Isaacs
  • Who turns out to be Chinese
  • Isaacs reveals Charles and Augustus are the same