Richard Eyre directs Simon Russell Beale in Ian Kelly’s riotously funny new play Mr Foote’s Other Leg at the Hampstead Theatre.

Olivier Award winner Beale stars as satirist, impressionist and dangerous comedian Samuel Foote, one of the greatest lost figures of Georgian London who has become a celebrity in a time when the concept of selling personality was born. He even has the ear of the king.

Adored by many but despised by some, Foote finds himself at the sharp end of attacks from the press… and a surgeon’s knife. In an age obsessed with fame, his colleagues from the worlds of science and the stage – from Benjamin Franklin to David Garrick – begin to wonder: does fame make you mad?

Based on Kelly’s award-winning biography of Foote, Mr Foote’s Other Leg explores our obsession with the rise and fall of celebrity through the true story of the Oscar Wilde of the 18th century.

Three-time Olivier Award winner Russell Beale, who picked up his trio of London theatre’s most prestigious accolades for Uncle Vanya (2003), Candide (2000) and Volpone (1996), returns to the London stage following performances in Temple at the Donmar Warehouse, King Lear at the National Theatre and Privates On Parade in the West End.

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