Simon Russell Beale stars as Samuel Foote, the actor, impressionist, comedian and hedonist whose rise to fame and notoriety couldn’t be stopped; even by the loss of his leg in a riding accident. Kelly’s play explores his role in an age when theatre and science were on the brink of progress and begs the question: can fame make you mad?
The sumptuous production is directed by Sir Richard Eyre, whose previous work has earned him 5 Olivier Awards and the Olivier Lifetime Achievement Award. He directs this adaptation of Kelly’s play, which is itself an adaptation of the biography of Samuel Foote penned by the playwright in 2012.
Simon Russell Beale’s performance as this multi-faceted and complex character received enthusiastic critical acclaim when Mr Foote’s Other Leg opened on the West End in November 2015. With multiple credits at the National Theatre, Foote is the latest in a long line of diverse characters to Beale’s name; from Iago in Othello to Stalin in Collaborators and the title role in Uncle Vanya. He is supported by Dervla Kirwan as Peg Woffington and Joseph Miller as David Garrick. The trio take to the stage as friends and actors caught in Georgian London’s craze for fame and sexual freedom.