REVIEWS

 

★★★★ Telegraph, ★★★★ Guardian, ★★★★ Stage, ★★★★ WhatsOnStage, ★★★★ Standard,
★★★★ Sunday Times, ★★★★ WestEndWhingers, ★★★★★ LoveTheatre, ★★★★ Independent,
★★★★ Independent on Sunday, ★★★★ Daily Mail, ★★★★ Daily Express, ★★★★ TimeOut,
★★★★ LondonHistorians, ★★★★★ The Observer, ★★★★ LondonTheatre.co.uk 

 

 ‘thrilling…a love letter to 18th century London and a tribute to the theatre itself’
WhatsonStage
 

‘Utterly engaging and marvellously entertaining’
Telegraph
 

‘magnificent’
Daily Mail
 

‘historical, hysterical dramatic feast’
The Mail on Sunday
 

‘wild and wildly funny..utterly irresistible’
Mark Shenton, The Stage
 

‘wonderfully funny…a smashing play’
Charles Spencer
 

‘commits wholly to superlatives…truly remarkable ...one of the must see plays of the season.’
LondonTheatre.co.uk
 

‘irresistible, wow, - what a treat – a plum-duff of Georgian stage mayhem!’
Libby Purves
 

‘in twenty years reviewing, Mr Footes Other Leg and Hangman together count as probably my best ever week in the stalls’
Lyn Gardner
 

 ‘out Stoppards Stoppard’
Giles Brandreth
 

‘Eddie Izzard, eat your heart out, dude’
The Independent
 

‘a terrific play, very, very funny…full of polymaths, written by a polymath…the most accurate depiction of the realities of life backstage I’ve ever seen – Kelly has nailed it’
BBC Radio 4 – Saturday Review
 

‘of millefeuille complexity, a perfectly calibrated and deeply affecting mixture of grandiosity and high camp, pathos and a passionate, tragic-comic theatricality’
Telegraph
 

‘hilarious and heartbreaking’
Mark Shenton
 

‘hyperventilatorily hilarious’
LoveTheatre.com
 

‘Mr Footes Other Leg has dipped its toe in the waters of greatness!’
Big Issue
 

‘a shaded meditation on theatre, friendship and rivalry’
The Stage
 

‘an atmosphere of frivolous but intelligent amusement that subtly flatters the audience…marvelous…brilliantly sexy ’ 
The Spectator
 

 ‘an absolute triumph…truly extraordinary seamless mingling of 18th century idiom and panache with contemporary immediacy – incredibly funny, moving and thought provoking…and of course, like Shakespeare himself, Kelly plays a ‘Kingly part in sport’’
Jonathan Bate
 

‘an instant classic of the theatre’
Al Senter
 

 ‘Crammed…with gusto and sorrow…enchanting – frilly and filthy…demonstrates how, when forensically shaped, [a] stage romp-and-roar can provide a far-reaching metaphor; the mind flitting across the brain like an actor across the boards.’ 
The Observer
 

‘Brings a riot of theatricality and hilarity to the West End’
CulturalWhisperer
 

‘Mr Foote’s Other Leg is bound together by its passionate belief in theatre as a world in little, a dispenser of healing laughter and an embodiment of Benjamin Franklin’s ideas about the transmission of electricity…and freedom’
The Guardian
 

‘Ian Kelly, who appears as the future George III, has adapted his award-winning biography of Foote…Pauline Kael wrote that Streisand's face is “completed” by tears. Would it be also true to say that Simon Russell Beale is completed by the spilling silks of full Gainsborough drag?  Well, put it this way –  Eddie Izzard, eat your heart out, dude… But there's a Lear-like terror and pathos (the play is much concerned with the mind) and there are haunting pre-echoes of the Wilde scenario in his refusal to fly abroad when accused of sexual assault by his male servant… Foote's free-wheeling, subversive energy and originality [brought] wonderfully to unregenerate life.’
Independent
 

‘Kelly, who appears in his own play as the future King George III, published a biography ofFoote.  His adaptation is a wild, picaresque romp through the theatrical, social and scientific landscape of the 18th century…of millefeuile complexity: a perfectly calibrated and deeply affecting mixture of grandiosity, high camp, pathos and a passionate, tragi-comic theatricality…the extravagant superfluity of themes (and jokes) in Kelly’s play, where ideas about neurology and the theatre, electricity, anatomy, the American war of independence, Shakespeare, Handel and 18th-century attitudes to sexuality swarm in profusion. The result, like Foote himself, is… utterly engaging and marvellously entertaining.’
The Telegraph
 

‘Mr Foote’s Other Leg is a love-letter to Eighteenth century London, with its loose values and love of theatre. Kelly also imbues the script with a palpable atmosphere of change – scientific, social and political – seen in the characters' liberal attitudes to sex and the intriguing moments where the Benjamin Franklin and surgeon John Hunter turn up…a rambunctious, raucous ride, galloping through the history of the time with a twinkle in its eye. He tells it all with much wit, buoyed by a never-ending supply of leg puns. Magnificent…an absolute delight…remarkable..and effortless transformations from stage to backstage, to to rooftop, to surgeon's lecture hall..There's something thrilling about hearing lines referring to the Haymarket and realising that where you are sitting is pretty much where this all took place. Mr Foote's Other Leg is a fitting tribute to an extraordinary, under-sung character, but most of all it's a tribute to the theatre itself’
WhatsOnStage
 

‘There is no better venue for Ian Kelly's riotous comedy to land direct from a sell-out run at the Hampstead Theatre than the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Despite the weighty context, you're never overwhelmed by facts or detail - in fact quite the opposite, and I found myself rushing home to read up more about this most fascinating 'foote' note in history.The bawdy comedic tone is established immediately which sets up an energetic performance that keeps the laughs coming at every turn. Despite Simon Russell Beale's imitable performance, this is by its very nature a true ensemble triumph for the unanimously talented cast…in Kelly's finely crafted text.

Beneath the quick fire dialogue and perfectly judged physical humour lies a truly moving story about an actor with a secret. Underneath the superficiality of the make up and wigs lies a physically and mentally broken soul, forced to hide his sexuality and supress his true feelings. Like many people, the comedic mask is used as a barrier for these complex emotions, and Simon Russell Beale provides sufficient layers to the eccentric character for us to see where the true heart of the production lies. His performance is outstanding in every respect and has the ability to move you to tears of both laughter and despair.

This is a production that commits you wholly to superlatives, and sticks out as being one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve ever spent in the West End. The combination of a historically intriguing story, a heartily funny script and truly remarkable performances results in one of the must see plays of the season.’
LondonTheatre.co.uk