‘Ian is the only acclaimed non fiction writer in the history of the West End ever to have adapted his own work as a hit comedy… and starred in it
Sir Jonathan Bate on Mr Foote’s Other Leg.

Ian's five historical biographies have garnered international acclaim, awards, film, tv and theatre adaptations and have been translated into over twenty languages. He is a regular speaker at literary events, and on US and UK tv and radio.

Casanova was named Sunday Times Biography of the Year, Mr Foote’s Other Leg, the biography, won the 2013 Theatre Book of the Year Award before being adapted for the stage at the suggestion of Sir Michael Codron. It broke box office records at Hampstead before transferring straight into the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the West End. Cooking for Kings - the life of Antonin Careme the First Celebrity Chef, was Radio 4 Book of the Week and became a hit Off Broadway play, Beau Brummell a BBC TV film and Casanova was adapted as a ballet (northernballet.com/casanova), scenario by Ian Kelly and Kenny Tindall, which toured the UK in 2017 prior to Sadler’s Wells and was awarded the prize for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, 2017, by BroadwayWorldUK. It was filmed by SkyArts/Digital Theatre for international broadcast, and premiered Easter Sunday 2018. Ian’s biography of and with the iconic designer Vivienne Westwood, a project he was invited to collaborate on by Dame Vivienne, has already been translated into over fifteen languages. Ian has held writing awards and Fellowships from the Huntington Library, California, and the Wellcome Trust amongst others. He is currently under commission to write a new work of non-fiction for Picador provisionally titled ‘William Shakespeare, the Actor.’

Other projects include a biopic of Robert Burns, a screenplay about the Dublin premiere of Handel’s Messiah and tv series including adaptations of Michael Bundock’s ’The Fortunes of Francis Barber’ and of Ian’s previous work on the chef Careme, 'Cooking for Kings', for French television, as well as ‘The Rothschilds’ which Ian is co-writing with Julian Fellowes.


MR FOOTE’S OTHER LEG play

tragedy and murder in Georgian London

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MR FOOTE’S OTHER LEG BOOK

tragedy and murder in Georgian London

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COOKING FOR KINGS

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BEAU BRUMMELL

the ultimate dandy

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VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

by Vivienne Westwood &
Ian Kelly

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CASANOVA 

Sunday Times Biography of the Year

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CASANOVA BALLET

Northern Ballet’s critical and commercial smash hit

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