May 9, 2006

Spacey opts for the familiar to end Old Vic’s woes

LONDON (Reuters) - Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey has opted
for the safety of Shakespeare comedies and sure-fire hits in
his attempt to revive the flagging fortunes of London's Old Vic

Critics have turned on Spacey for what they see as a poor
record at the helm of the famous London venue, and one
questioned whether he should resign after Robert Altman's
production of Arthur Miller's "Resurrection Blues" was panned.

News that the Old Vic would remain empty for five months in
2006 further increased pressure on the 46-year-old American.

The Oscar-winning star of "American Beauty" and "The Usual
Suspects" told Reuters last month he intended to stay on as
artistic director. He has committed to 10 years in the job.

"In the Old Vic tradition of celebrating great acting, big
plays and a sense of event we're proud of the line-up we've
assembled for our third season and beyond," Spacey said in a
statement on Tuesday.

The next season begins with Eugene O'Neill's "A Moon for
the Misbegotten," in which Spacey himself will perform.

Early next year the Old Vic will stage two Shakespeare
comedies, "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Twelfth Night," both
of performed by Propeller, an all-male company.

Then comes a production of "The Entertainer" to mark the
50th anniversary of John Osborne's play, with British actor
Robert Lindsay as the struggling comedian Archie Rice.

At Christmas, Ian McKellen is set to return as Widow
Twankey in the popular pantomime "Aladdin," and comedian
Stephen Fry has agreed to write a new version of "Cinderella"
for Christmas, 2007.