BWW Interview: Irish Rep's Ian Holcomb on the Uniqueness of LONDON ASSURANCE and the Power of Taking Off One's Mask
Written by Dion Boucicault, London Assurance, takes audiences on a wild ride through the eyes of eccentric characters and missteps along the way! Centered around Sir Harcourt Courtly and his betrothal to Grace Harkaway and the hilarity that ensues when they each end up falling for another person, including Sir Courtly's own son, this play is full of twists, turns, and plenty of quirky moments.
Ian Holcomb plays the Young Charles Courtly, and has been part of the Irish Rep family for almost a decade.
BroadwayWorld had a chance to catch up with the talented actor about finding a second home with Irish Rep; the greatest lessons his character learns through his zany experiences; and how this play was ahead of its time.
Can you talk about your experience with Irish Rep and how you've felt like a part of their community over the years?
This is actually my fifth production with Irish Rep and my first acting job in New York City was Ernest in Love. It's been such a wonderful creative home and I truly feel like I've gained another family!
What is the most exciting part of diving into London Assurance?
Being able to do London Assurance has been so exhilarating. It's rare to get to do this play in the States and I believe that most people remember the production in the 1970's with Judi Dench that came to New York after running in London. It certainly has a unique spot in the catalog of British plays, with a good amount of humor.
My character is a wealthy young man who is quite spoiled and out every night behaving badly. He starts the journey going along as he always has, but once challenged, has to figure out another way and sees what a fool he has been, once the façade is pulled away.
How does the time period reflect the values of British society?
The play is really so far ahead of its time, in terms of men and women both setting the tone of the era. The time period is around the early days of Queen Victoria's reign, and showcases strong female characters who are incredibly self-aware about what they want and not afraid to vocalize their desires and make their own choices.
Thinking about your character, what is the greatest discovery he makes about his true nature?
The biggest lesson my character learns by the end of the play is that the insincere way that he has been presenting himself doesn't lead to a life worth living. He discovers that life is about truth and goodness and being authentic. He certainly receives a reality check that cracks him open and allows a few breakthroughs to come through.
London Assurance runs through January 26, 2020. Visit: www.irishrep.org for more information and ticket options.