Ian Kelly is a multi-award winning historian, dramatist and actor, whose most recent works include the stage adaptation of his book, Mr Foote’s Other Leg, which ran in the West End 2015-2016 after a record breaking run at Hampstead Theatre, directed by Sir Richard Eyre and starring Simon Russell Beale. The original book, Mr Foote’s Other Leg, was named Theatre Book of the Year by the Society of Theatre Research when it was published in 2013. His adaptation with Northern Ballet of his previous biography of Casanova comes into Sadlers Wells in the summer of 2017. The original book received universally rapturous reviews and was named Sunday Times Biography of the Year in 2008. Ian was approached by Dame Vivienne Westwood to co-author her 2014 authorised biography, a book described by the Telegraph as ‘fabulously fetishistically brilliant.’ It has gone on to bestseller lists all over the world in the many languages into which is has already been translated.
His biography of Beau Brummell was described by Stephen Fry as ‘a magnificent, fantastic read: all the wonders of that incomparable age touched on with mastery’ and by The Times as ‘biography simply as good as it gets.’ It was bought by the BBC and adapted as a TV film. The US publication was timed to coincide with the Anglomania Fashion Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Kelly’s performance in the title role of Ron Hutchinson’s Beau Brummell, Off-Broadway – a New York premiere.
Ian Kelly’s first book, Cooking for Kings: A Life of Antonin Careme the First Celebrity Chef, was published by Short Books in the UK and Walker Books in the US and the publication in New York of his book coincided with the Off-Broadway premiere of his play, based on Careme’s life. He appears frequently on television and radio, often talking about food or theatre history.
As an actor, recent stage and screen appearances include The Pitmen Painters at the NT and on Broadway, the role of Hermione’s father in the last of the Harry Potter films, George III in his own play Mr Foote and the Ian McEwan film The Children Act.
Current projects include a screenplay in development with Lionsgate films based on the life of Robert Burns, and an LA based film project about the premier of Handel’s Messiah, and a further commission with Picador Pan Macmillan for a new work on Shakespeare. Ian is represented by MMB for books and book rights, His drama writing is represented by Independent Talent (Cathy King).