Previewed 28 October 2015, Opened 4 November 2015, Closed 23 January 2016 at the Haymarket Theatre Royal in London
Ian Kelly's new comedy Mr Foote’s Other Leg in London starring Simon Russell Beale for a strictly limited season - this production transfers to London's West End following an acclaimed sell-out season at the Hampstead Theatre in North London earlier this year.
The cast features Simon Russell Beale along with Dervla Kirwan and Joseph Millson. Directed by Richard Eyre with designs by Tim Hatley. Written and adapted for the stage by Ian Kelly from his award-winning biography of Samuel Foote.
PLEASE NOTE: The age limit for this production is thirteen years and older.
"Ian Kelly’s rich, rollicking romp of a play is a celebration of the rambunctious, bawdy spirit of Georgian theatre told through one of its most colourful characters: Samuel Foote. An actor and cross-dressing satirist, he enraged the Lord Chamberlain, tried to stage Othello as a comedy, charmed a royal warrant out of Prince George for his Haymarket Theatre, and had a leg amputated when he fell from a horse in a crazy wager with his friend and rival actor David Garrick. Then he staggered on (in every sense) as a one-legged stand-up, was charged for sexual assault on his male dresser and finally (not surprisingly, perhaps) went mad. This is just a pinch of the spicier ingredients that flavour this historical, hysterical – if somewhat overfilled and overflowing – theatrical stew, served up with tremendous relish and lashings of Handel in Richard Eyre’s lip-smacking production." The Mail on Sunday
"The play is an enjoyable romp, a mixture of rich period detail and crude anachronism, in which anyone who was anyone in Foote's world (and some who were not) is cited. However, it is formless, overlong and marred by a superfluous subplot in which Benjamin Franklin, on a diplomatic mission to London, investigates magnetism and memory. As Foote, who offended propriety both on and off stage, Simon Russell Beale indulges all his most egregious mannerisms: simpering, smirking, leering, rolling his eyes and drawling his vowels, in a performance that is part Little Lord Fauntleroy and part Widow Twankey." The Sunday Express
"In a cherishable central performance, Simon Russell Beale is at his most eye-poppingly roguish. Upholstered into Foote's stage gowns, he spouts filth from beneath a picture hat. He bats the text to the boundaries of his voice — high and tetchy, deeply lubricious, quietly melancholy. Ian Kelly adapts his rollicking biography into a slightly ramshackle play. Playing fast and loose with fact and chronology, he stuffs in as much of the 18th century as he can... Yet Richard Eyre's production is principally a celebration of theatre, a merry world of trollops and mollies presenting free speech on stage and preserving liberty through laughter." The Sunday Times
Mr Foote’s Other Leg in London at the Theatre Royal Haymarket Theatre previewed from 28 October 2015, opened on 4 November 2015 and closed on 23 January 2016.