Hearty comedy of manners closes National Theatre Live season at St James

Watch live broadcasts of National Theatre plays at St James Cavalier

The hugely successful pilot season of NT Live, the new initiative by the National Theatre to broadcast live performances of plays onto cinema screens worldwide, will end with an addition to the original schedule: a live broadcast of Boucicault’s brilliantly funny Victorian comedy London Assurance, starring Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw in Nicholas Hytner’s sell-out hit production, filmed live at the National Theatre in London on 28 June. The production will be screened live at St James Cavalier with doors opening at 19:30 and the curtain rising at 20:00. The production will be preceded by unique behind the scene footage including interviews with the cast and crew as well as information about the playwright.

Dion Boucicault, the Irish genius of London theatre in the age of Dickens, wrote London Assurance in 1841 and created, in Sir Harcourt Courtley and Lady Gay Spanker, two of the great comic roles of the English stage. The cast also includes Mark Addy, Richard Briers, Paul Ready and Michelle Terry.

Sir Harcourt Courtley (Simon Russell Beale) is lured away from the epicentre of fashionable London by the promise of a rich and beautiful bride, Grace, forty-five years his junior. Arriving at Oak Hall, Gloucestershire, he marvels at this rural Venus until her charms are eclipsed by her hearty cousin, the foxhunting Lady Gay Spanker (Fiona Shaw). Meanwhile his disguised son turns up in flight from his creditors and falls head over heels for Grace. When Lady Spanker discovers the young couple, she needs little prompting from the visiting chancer Dazzle to lead Sir Harcourt astray.

NT Liveperformances are filmed live at the National Theatre in high definition and broadcast via satellite to 300 cinemas and performing arts centres around the world, live in Europe and some US cities, and time-delayed in countries further afield.

Booking is now open online at www.sjcav.org org or by calling 2122 3200.