Hampstead’s Mr Foote heads for West End

Published October 5, 2015

Richard Eyre’s production of Mr Foote’s Other Leg starring Simon Russell Beale will transfer to the Theatre Royal Haymarket next month following its current run at the Hampstead Theatre.

Ian Kelly’s critically acclaimed comedy about 18th century entertainer Samuel Foote will play from 28 October at the aptly chosen venue of which Foote was once the theatre manager and where he entertained many an audience with his comic routines.

Russell Beale will be joined in the West End transfer by all nine members of the original cast, which comprises Dervla Kirwan, Joseph Millson, Micah Balfour, Jenny Galloway, Ian Kelly, Forbes Masson, Colin Stinton, Sophie Bleasdale and Joshua Elliott.

Set in Georgian London, Mr Foote’s Other Leg follows the title satirist and comedian as he becomes a celebrity in London. As Foote finds himself at the end of attacks from the press (and a surgeon’s knife), his colleagues on stage and off begin to wonder, does fame make you mad?

On its premiere at the Hampstead Theatre, Eyre’s production was described by the Evening Standard’s Henry Hitchings as “a ripely entertaining portrait of an eccentric, forgotten celebrity”, while The Telegraph’s Dominic Cavendish recognised that a West End transfer could well be on the cards, saying “If there’s any posthumous justice, a swift transfer to the Haymarket could hardly be a step in a better direction.”

The transfer of Mr Foote’s Other Leg to the Theatre Royal Haymarket has led to the premature closure of another transfer, McQueen, which will now close on 17 October, the same date that Mr Foote’s Other Leg ends its sold-out run at the Swiss Cottage venue.