Groundhog Day for Phil and Andrew.
Back to reality after travelling in Indochina with the humdrum repetition of daily routines. So what could be more appropriate to add to our Groundhoggishness than revisiting a show that we’d already been thoroughly entertained by at Hampstead?
The Georgian extravaganza that is Mr Footes’s Other Leg – about an 18th century celebrity polymath Samuel Foote penned by a 21st century polymath Ian Kelly, and starring an on top form Simon Russell Beale, who tends towards polymathic tendencies himself – has made a swift transfer to the Haymarket, a move Phil
predicted/hoped would happen. Was he the first to suggest the theatre it now occupies for its 12 week run? He believes he is.
It is now slightly and subtly trimmed in length, but the events from the raucously ribald opening scene, “There’s a shelf full of cocks over there” to actress-of-the day Peg Woffington’s (Dervla Kirwan) touching (in the poignant sense) bed scene are as enjoyable as they ever were.
Beale, Kirwan and Joseph Millson (as David Garrick) have huge chemisty together and really appear to be enjoying themselves as much as the audience. Interest is also piqued by the news that someone passed out watching Foote’s on stage amputation scene at one of the previews.
We’ve already talked at some length about it here and it now sits in its new home most splendidly. Foote was responsible for landing the Haymarket its Royal Patent, so there is the added frisson of knowing that the events you witness happened in and around the site of the theatre you now occupy.
Perhaps Mrs Henderson Presents should be transferred to The Windmill?