Why See Mr Foote's Other Leg?
WEST END TRANSFER
The Georgian era gave us many things, the cure for small pox, Mr Darcy, acceptable day time drinking, a great series of Blackadder. But perhaps one of the periods contributions to popular culture is lesser known: our ravenous obsession with the lifestyles of the rich and famous. From the wild excesses of Beau Nash to the scandalous life of The Duchess of Devonshire, our finely attired forebears lapped up everything to do with fame and no one was more popular than the larger-than-life Samuel Foote. Aptly named due to an unfortunate riding accident, the monopedal Mr Foote was the first to turn celebrity into an artform.
Who was Samuel Foote?
Simon Russell Beale stars in Ian Kelly's riotous comedy about the life of Mr Foote. An actor, manager, satirist and the man who managed to stage Otello as a comedy. He took the notion of selling your personality and ran with it, all the while puzzling his friends and colleagues, Prince George (later George III, yeah, that one), Benjamin Franklin and the actor David Garrick to name a few, into wondering if fame really does send one mad.
After a highly successful run at the Hampstead Theatre, Mr. Foote comes to the Theatre Royal Haymarket, the site of many of the real man's achievements, for a limited time only!
In our celebrity obsessed age, Ian Kelly's play gives us a mirthful and yet sorrowful look into where it all began and the effect that mass publicity can have on an individual from the Oscar Wilde of his day.
Previews from: 28 October 2015
Opening night: 4 November 2015
2 hours and 40 minutes with an interval
Cast and Creative
Simon Russell Beale as Samuel Foote
Dervla Kirwan as Peg Woffington
Ian Kelly as Prince George
Michah Balfour as Frank Barbour
Sophie Bleasdale as Miss Chudleigh
Joshua Elliott as Hallam
Jenny Galloway as Mrs Garner
John Hunter as Forbes Masson
Joseph Millson as David Garrick
Colin Stinton as Benjamin Franklin/Charles Macklin
Written by Ian Kelly
Directed by Richard Eyre
Design by Tim Hatley
Lighting by Peter Mumford
Sound by John Leonard
Composer Richard Hartley
Casting by Cara Beckinsale
What we thought
Well-acted georgian ROMP
the scheming and bitching makes for a hilarious caricature of the theatre, the media and the place of the actor between the two admirably.
Like many of my own A Level essays, Ian Kelly's adaptation of his own book about one of the Georgian period's forgotten pioneers has many intriguing notion, but is unable to fully realise any into a cohesive piece.Read full review
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