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Actor Ian Kelly looking into the camera through a mirror

Ian Kelly

Ian Kelly is an historian, dramatist, and actor. His biography of Casanova, from which this ballet is adapted, was named Sunday Times Biography of the Year and has gone on to be translated into over fifteen languages. The original book was researched in archives in Venice, Prague, Paris and St Petersburg and the audio book, read by Benedict Cumberbatch, has become an international bestseller.

Previous works include the West End play Mr Foote’s Other Leg (Theatre Royal Haymarket, directed by Sir Richard Eyre starring Sir Simon Russell Beale) based on Ian’s earlier Samuel Foote biography of the same title (Winner, Theatre Book of the Year, 2013), The Painted Hall, starring Hugh Bonneville and Jane Asher, created for the unveiling of the restored ceiling in Greenwich, to be broadcast on Radio 4 in 2022, and a theatre-concert about Shostakovich and Maria Yudina, Playing for Stalin, commissioned for the Salzburg Festival, 2022. Historical non-fiction works also include the biography of Beau Brummell, which was adapted as a BBC film starring James Purefoy and Matthew Rhys, a life of Vivienne Westwood, co-written with Dame Vivienne, and the play Cooking for Kings which ran twice Off-Broadway.

As an actor, Ian’s work ranges from Broadway, NT and West End credits to film and TV work, from Merchant-Ivory to Harry Potter and most recently The King’s Man.

Current works in progress include a screenplay about the premiere of Handel’s Messiah with Icon Films and two collaborations with Julian Fellowes, including The Rothschilds, for MGMtv.