“Delightful... the wit starts flowing from the first scene ” —Telegraph
“A ripely entertaining portrait of an eccentric, forgotten celebrity and the scandalous allure of the stage” —Evening Standard
“Witty and engaging… perceptive and humane, capable of moments of real tenderness, a celebration of the strange electricity of theatre” —The Stage
“Very, very funny… for a play with so many laughs, it also brims with insight and fascinating observations about culture and politics, both personal and public” —BritishTheatre.com
In Georgian London no one is more famous than Samuel Foote. Satirist, impressionist and dangerous comedian, friend of David Garrick and Dr Johnson, he is a bona fide celebrity in an age obsessed with fame. He even has the ear of the King.
But when Foote finds himself at the center of a media storm—and under the surgeon’s knife—there’s only one question on everyone’s lips: does fame make you mad?
Based on Ian Kelly’s award-winning biography, Mr Foote’s Other Leg is a riotously funny play exploring our obsession with celebrities, through the true story of the Oscar Wilde of the eighteenth century. It premiered at Hampstead Theatre in September 2015, in a production directed by Richard Eyre and featuring Simon Russell Beale as Foote.
Ian Kelly is an actor and writer. He has written several historical biographies, including Casanova (Sunday Times Biography of the Year, 2008), Mr Foote’s Other Leg; Comedy, Tragedy and Murder in Georgian London (Winner, Theatre Book of the Year, 2013), Beau Brummell (shortlisted for the Marsh Commonwealth Biography Prize), Cooking for Kings, A Life of Antonin Carême (Radio 4 Book of the Week), and the life of Vivienne Westwood, co-written with Dame Vivienne. As a dramatist, Ian’s stage adaptation of Mr Foote’s Other Leg was premiered at Hampstead Theatre in 2015 in a production directed by Richard Eyre starring Simon Russell Beale, and his adaptation of the Carême biography Cooking for Kings ran Off-Broadway in 2004 and 2006. Beau Brummell was adapted as a BBC film with Simon Bent, starring Hugh Bonneville and James Purefoy.