London Assurance

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London Assurance is a comedy in five acts by Dion Boucicault (1820-1890)[1] .

The original text

Written for the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, the play was first presented there 4 March 1841.

Translations and adaptations

Edited and adapted for modern audiences by Ronald Eyre, and published in the original, with footnotes indicating the changes, by Methuen, 1971. First performed at the Aldwych Theatre, London, on 23 June, 1970.

Adapted for South African audiences by James Ambrose Brown in 1974.

Performance history in South Africa

1861: Performed by Sefton Parry and company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town on 13 June, along with The Lottery Ticket, or The Lawyer's Clerk (Beazley) and a "Fan Dance" by Miss Powell.

1861: Performed by Sefton Parry and company in the Theatre Royal, Cape Town on 27 June, along with a play called Le Chalet Suisse , uncredited and billed as the "Musical Comedietta".

1874: Performed in the Oddfellows Hall, Cape Town, on 2 and 3 March by Disney Roebuck and his company, with Fanny Enson as "Lady Gay Spanker" and William Elton as "Dolly Spanker".

1875: Performed in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town, on 22 April, by Disney Roebuck and his company, with The Limerick Boy (Pilgrim).

1875: Performed in the Bijou Theatre, Cape Town, on 2 August, by Disney Roebuck and his company.

1876: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Burg Street, Cape Town, on 14 July, by Disney Roebuck and his company as a benefit for Captain Roebuck, under the patronage of the Givernor of the Cape. Also given was Mr and Mrs White (Raymond) and a performance by the orchestra of the 24th Regiment.

1877: Performed in the Theatre Royal, Burg Street, Cape Town, on 14 September and 24 October, by Disney Roebuck and his company

1974: Brown's adaptation directed by Peter Curtis for CAPAB English Drama, opening 19 January 1974 at the Nico Malan Theatre. Michael Atkinson, Vivienne Drummond, Lois Butlin, Patti Canning, Roger Dwyer, Nicholas Ellenbogen, Henry Goodman, Keith Grenville, Roland Stafford, Simon Swindell, Michael Swinton, Dugald Thomson, John Whiteley and Alec Bell were in the cast. Associate director John Burch, set designed by Penny Simpson, costumes by Jennifer Craig, lighting by John T. Baker.

1975: The CAPAB version performed in the H.B. Thom Theatre, Stellenbosch on 31 January-1 February.

1977: A PACT production was directed by Michael Atkinson at the Alexander Theatre, Johannesburg, and the Breytenbach Theatre, Pretoria, in 1977 starring Dorothy-Ann Gould.

1984(?): The adaptation by Ronald Eyre was presented by NAPAC at the Alhambra Theatre, Durban, directed by Roger Dwyer.

1984: Presented by CAPAB Drama, based on the NAPAC production of the Eyre version, at the Nico Malan Theatre opening 30 June 1984, directed by Roger Dwyer. The cast: Dawid Minnaar, Laurens Cilliers, Nicholas Collis, Terrick Fitzhugh, Malcolm Farquhar, Keith Grenville, Roland Stafford, Lynn Banner, Robert Butler, Jennifer Steyn, Ronald France, Erica Rogers, Alan Swerdlow. Decor by Patricia Slavin, costumes by David Walker, lighting by Malcolm Hurrell.


Facsimile version of the original text with the changes by Eyre (Methuen edition of 1971), The Internet Archive[2]

D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 97-8, 105, 312-315, 323, 326, 333, 335, 341, 348, 360-1

London Assurance theatre programmes, 1974, 1984.

PACT theatre programme 1977 held by NELM [Collection: FARMER, Anthony]: 2007. 18. 13. 727.

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