Dion Boucicault, the Irish genius of London theatre in the age of Dickens, wrote the brilliantly funny London Assurance in 1841 and thereby created, in Sir Harcourt and Lady Spanker, two of the great comic roles of the English stage, played at the National Theatre by Simon Russell Beale and Fiona Shaw.
RICHARD BEAN is a prolific playwright and former stand up comedian. His first full-length play Of Rats and Men, was mounted at the Canal Cafe Theatre in 1996 and went on to the Edinburgh Festival. He adapted it for BBC Radio where it was nominated for a Sony Award. He also won the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2005: Best New Play for his play Harvest.