Samuel Foote: One-legged Comedy Superstar of the 18th Century Stage – Art and the Birth of British Comedy

Wednesday  7th November 2012 at 2.00 pm

Ian Kelly

Ian Kelly is an award winning actor and writer and the author of three internationally acclaimed historical biographies. His book  ‘Cooking for Kings’, a life of Antonin Carême, was Radio 4 Book of the Week and led to Ian’s series on the history of food for Richard and Judy. His ‘Beau Brummell’ was adapted as a major TV film and shortlisted for the Marsh Commonwealth Biography Prize. His new biography of Giacomo Casanova was named Biography of the Year by The  Sunday Times.He is currently at work on a new piece on 18th century art and comedy.

A popular and entertaining public speaker, Ian is a familiar face to many from his stage appearances, most recently in the National Theatre’s production of Lee Hall’s comedy about art, ‘The Pitmen Painters’ on Broadway, and from his frequent appearances on The Richard and Judy Show, or as Hermione’s father in the last of the Harry Potter films.

Samuel Foote was the most notorious and best-loved man in Georgian London. A one-legged comedy superstar, he wrote a series of hit comedies for one-legged actors (for obvious reasons, not often revived)….was definitely the first celebrity impressionist and has some claim to be the founding father of the British sense of humour. He was a friend of Joshua Reynolds and his career stands as a parallel to the birth of British portraiture as well as the novel.


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