Thanks to the kindness of our friends Richard and Graham, Frankie and I enjoyed an excellent evening at the Theatre Royal Haymarket a couple of weeks ago to see one of the best plays in the West End at the moment, MR FOOTE’S OTHER LEG.
With the brilliant Simon Russell Beale in the lead role as the trailblazing Georgian actor,playwright, theatre manager, cross-dressing comic and ‘consummate wag’ Samuel Foote, supported by an equally brilliant cast including Dervla Kirwan, Joseph Milson and Micah Balfour the entertainment of the highest order was assured.
Ian Kelly’s play, based on the biography of the same name premiered at the Hampstead Theatre earlier this year under the direction of Richard Eyre, before transferring, appropriately to the Theatre Royal Haymarket, the very venue that Foote owned, securing the Royal patent. Described as the ‘Oscar Wilde of the 18th Century’, Samuel Foote lost a leg to a riding accident, but didn’t lose his desire to stay on stage. “The show must hop on!” His name fitted (oh the irony!) his fate.
He became more reckless and his entrepreneur career abruptly ended with accusations of sodomy. This sketch featuring Simon, Dervla, Joseph and Micah was baptized with London’s autumnal rains as I managed to get all four to sign it after two attempts at the uncovered stagedoor. Obviously Mr Foote didn’t think of us graphemes back in his day.