Old Vic Announces 2014-15 Season; Kevin Spacey to Return to the Stage in CLARENCE DARROW

Old Vic Announces 2014-15 Season; Kevin Spacey to Return to the Stage in CLARENCE DARROW

The Old Vic today announced its programme for Summer/Autumn 2014. The CQS Space, The Old Vic in the round, will be home to the whole season of productions, continuing after Other Desert Cities which opens this month. The plays will be performed in the round, a transformation of The Old Vic's auditorium first seen for the award-winning 2008 production of The Norman Conquests. The season of productions is supported for the fourth consecutive year by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

In June 2014, Kevin Spacey stars in a compelling one-man play about the pioneering lawyer of 19th century America, Clarence Darrow, in a limited run in aid of The Old Vic, directed by Old Vic Associate Thea Sharrock, who returns following the success of Cause Célèbre. Multiple award-winning director and playwright of international acclaim, Yaël Farber will direct Arthur Miller's riveting modern classic The Crucible which opens in July 2014. Her productions of Mies Julie and Nirbhaya have toured the world, including London, New York and the Edinburgh Festival and garnered wide international critical acclaim. From October 2014, Sophocles' Electra, in a version by Frank McGuinness, will reunite director Ian Rickson with Kristin Scott Thomas, in a coproduction with Sonia Friedman Productions.

Kevin Spacey, Artistic Director of The Old Vic commented: "I am thrilled to be returning to The Old Vic stage, for the first time performing in the round, such an exciting transformation of our Old Vic space for actors and audiences alike. As I celebrate ten years at the helm of this very special theatre it feels great to be returning to the character of Clarence Darrow, whom I played both onstage in Inherit the Wind and 22 years ago in the PBS film Darrow, directed by one of my House of Cards collaborators, John Coles. I am particularly pleased to be working with Thea Sharrock, one of the most exciting directors of her generation. With Other Desert Cities about to open and this new raft of productions announced to follow this is a diverse programme of classic and new work which we are very proud to present to theatre goers, as we close our tenth season of work and open our eleventh season this September. To present Arthur Miller's The Crucible is an honour and I am delighted to be joining forces with Ian Rickson and Kristin Scott Thomas and our longtime co-producer Sonia Friedman to come together with Electra. I know our audience will be excited by this programme and I can't wait to be back on stage myself."

Rena DeSisto, Global Arts and Culture Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, commented: "We are pleased to be in our fourth year of sponsoring the season at The Old Vic. The combination of The Old Vic's role in the community, its status as a landmark in theatre history and Kevin's incredible leadership are a winning combination for us as a corporate supporter."

Sir Michael Hintze, Founder, Chief Executive and Senior Investment Officer of CQS commented: "The 2014 production is a reflection of Kevin Spacey's innovative approach and the contribution made by the entire Old Vic family. The CQS Space is typical of the creativity and innovation The Old Vic brings to all its work. Theatre in the round provides opportunity for the audience to see a play from various unique perspectives. It is a privilege for us at CQS to be supporting The Old Vic - it's great for theatre and good for London".

Clarence Darrow

David W Rintels

Starring Kevin Spacey

Directed by Thea Sharrock

Previews from 28 May 2014

Kevin Spacey returns to the role of pioneering lawyer Clarence Darrow after the critically acclaimed Old Vic Production of Inherit the Wind and the PBS film Darrow. Thea Sharrock directs him in Rintels' compelling one man tour-de-force in which the larger than life Darrow with his legendary wit relives some of his pivotal experiences, including the infamous Scopes 'Monkey' and 'Thrill Killers' trials which established his reputation as a courtroom giant and civil rights hero. Kevin Spacey has previously appeared in The Old Vic's productions Richard III, Speedthe- Plow with Jeff Goldblum, National Anthems, The Philadelphia Story, A Moon for the Misbegotten, which subsequently transferred to Broadway, and in Trevor Nunn's productions of Inherit the Wind and Richard II. Previous theatre includes The Iceman Cometh (Evening Standard and Olivier Awards for Best Actor, and Tony Award nomination) directed by Howard Davies (Almeida, The Old Vic and Broadway), Lost in Yonkers (Tony Award, Best Supporting Actor), Long Day's Journey into Night, with Jack Lemmon, directed by Jonathan Miller (Broadway and West End). He directed The Old Vic's inaugural production Cloaca and directed Complicit starring Richard Dreyfuss. He is currently starring as Francis Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards.

Thea Sharrock won the James Menzies-Kitchin young director of the year award in 2000, making her directorial debut with a production of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls which transferred to the West End and toured the UK twice. Thea was then made Britain's youngest Artistic Director when she took over the Southwark Playhouse for three years, before then going on to be the Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill. Thea directed Cause Célèbre at The Old Vic in 2011 with Anne-Marie Duff, her other credits include productions for the Almeida, the Donmar, the National Theatre and many in the West End including Equus with Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths (also Broadway), The Misanthrope with Keira Knightly and Heroes with John Hurt. Her production of After the Dance for the National Theatre won eight major awards. She has also directed Henry V starring Tom Hiddleston for Sam Mendes/Neal Street and the BBC, as well as the recent Christmas Special of Call the Midwife.

Recently on stage she directed Richard Griffiths in his last stage performance in The Sunshine Boys with Danny DeVito at the Savoy Theatre before directing her first musical, The Bodyguard at the Adelphi. She is currently directing Miranda Hart in her arena tour for 2014. She is delighted to be returning to The Old Vic where she has been an Associate since 2011.

David W Rintels is an award-winning writer. His accolades include the Writers Guild of America Award for the Outstanding Dramatic Script in 1970 and in 1971 the American Bar Association Gavel Award, he was also nominated for an Emmy that same year. Utilising his background in Law, Rintels has written extensively for many legal series on television including The Defenders, Slattery's People, The Senator and The Young Lawyers.

The Crucible

Arthur Miller

Directed by Yaël Farber

Previews from 24 June 2014

Ya?l Farber directs a visceral re-imagining of Arthur Miller's modern American masterpiece about the Salem witch trials drawing parallels with his experience of McCarthy's anti-communist investigations in the 1950's. The Crucible tells the story of one man's fight to save his identity in a repressive Puritan community where intolerance collides with lust and superstition, fuelling widespread hysteria with tragic results.

Yaël Farber is a multiple award-winning director and playwright of international acclaim. Her productions have toured the world extensively - earning her a reputation for hard-hitting, controversial works of the highest artistic standard. Her most recent work Nirbhaya (directed and written by Farber in India) earned rave reviews and three international awards at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival and has just completed a sold out run at The Southbank Centre. Mies Julie (written and directed by Farber) won a string of international awards at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival, was named one of the Top Ten Productions of 2012 by The New York Times, and Top five Productions of 2012 by The Guardian. Yaël is the recipient of four Best Director Awards (1991, 2002, 2008, 2012) in her native South Africa, where she was named Artist of the Year (2003). She has won the Scotsman Fringe First Award (Edinburgh 2000, 2012, 2013), The Sony Gold Award (London 2001), Best of Edinburgh Award (Edinburgh 2012) And The Amnesty Freedom Of Expression Award 2013. She has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award (New York, 2007) and a TMA Best Director Award (UK 2008). Her productions have toured across the major cities of the USA, the UK (including the West End and the Barbican), Canada, Australia, Japan, Europe and Africa, The United Arab Emirates and Bermuda. She created a work in residence at The Joseph Papp Public Theatre, and was Head of the Directing Program at the National Theatre School of Canada for three years (2009 - 2012).

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was born in New York City and studied at the University of Michigan. His plays include The Man Who Had All the Luck (1944), All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1964), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972), The Archbishop's Ceiling (1977), The American Clock (1980) and Playing for Time. Later plays include The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1993), Broken Glass (1994), Mr. Peters' Connections (1998), Resurrection Blues (2002), and Finishing the Picture (2004).

Other works include Focus, a novel (1945), The Misfits, a screenplay (1960), and the texts for In Russia (1969), In the Country (1977), and Chinese Encounters (1979), three books in collaboration with his wife, photographer Inge Morath. Memoirs include Salesman in Beijing (1984), and Timebends, an autobiography (1988). Short fiction includes the collection I Don't Need You Anymore (1967), the novella, Homely Girl, a Life (1995) and Presence: Stories (2007). He was awarded the Avery Hopwood Award for Playwriting at University of Michigan in 1936. He twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, received two Emmy awards and three Tony Awards for his plays, as well as a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also won an Obie award, a BBC Best Play Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, a Gold Medal for Drama from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the Literary Lion Award from the New York Public Library, the John F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Algur Meadows Award. He was named Jefferson Lecturer for the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2001. He was awarded the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award for Letters and the 2003 Jerusalem Prize. He received honorary degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University and was awarded the Prix Moliere of the French theatre, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Lifetime Achievement Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Electra

Sophocles

In a version by Frank McGuinness

Starring Kristin Scott Thomas

Directed by Ian Rickson

A co-production with Sonia Friedman Productions

Previews from 20 September 2014

Director Ian Rickson and Kristin Scott Thomas reunite to bring Sophocles' tragedy to The Old Vic in the round. Frank McGuinness delivers a charged adaptation of the classic drama of Electra and Orestes' revenge on their father's murderers.

Kristin Scott Thomas gained international recognition in the 1990s for her roles in Bitter Moon, Four Weddings and A Funeral, for which she won the BAFTA Film Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and The English Patient for which she received a Golden Globe nomination as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Among her subsequent films are Gosford Park, in which she played Lady Sylvia McCordle, Mission: Impossible, The Horse Whisperer, Keeping Mum, Nowhere Boy, Easy Virtue, and Ne le dis à person (Tell No One), by French director Guillaume Canet.

In addition, Scott Thomas received many accolades for her performance in Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I've Loved You So Long), including BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress. In early 2007, Scott Thomas played Arkadina in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull at The Royal Court, for which she won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress. In 2009, she starred in Partir (Leaving) as Suzanne, earning a nomination for Best Actress at the Cesar Awards and winning Best Actress at the Evening Standard Film Award. She also starred in Sarah's Key as Julia Jarmond and in 2011, played the role of Patricia Maxwell in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen before returning to the West End to star as Emma in Harold Pinter's Betrayal directed by Ian Rickson. Scott Thomas's recent films include Bel Ami with Robert Pattinson, based on the 1885 novel written by Guy de Maupassant, and the film adaption of Douglas Kennedy's novel, The Woman in the Fifth, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. Last year, Scott Thomas teamed up with director Nicolas Winding Refn for Only God Forgives, and with director Ralph Fiennes for The Invisible Woman. She also performed on stage in Harold Pinter's Old Times directed by Ian Rickson.

Ian Rickson's directing credits includes Mojo (Harold Pinter Theatre), Old Times (Harold Pinter Theatre), Hamlet (Young Vic), Jerusalem (Royal Court, West End and Broadway), Betrayal (Comedy Theatre), The Children's Hour (Comedy Theatre), The Hothouse and The Day I Stood Still (National Theatre), Parlour Song (Almeida), Hedda Gabler (Roundabout Theatre, New York), The House of Yes (Gate Theatre) and Me & My Friend (Chichester Festival Theatre). He was Artistic Director at the Royal Court from 1998 to 2006, during which time he directed Krapp's Last Tape, The Winterling, Alice Trilogy, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Fallout, The Night Heron, Boy Gets Girl, Mouth to Mouth (also in the West End), Dublin Carol, The Weir (West End and Broadway), The Lights, Pale Horse and Mojo (Broadway and Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre), Ashes & Sand, Some Voices and Killers. His last production for the Royal Court, The Seagull, transferred to Broadway. His film credits include Fallout, Krapp's Last Tape and The Clear Road Ahead.

Frank McGuinness lives in Dublin and lectures in English at University College, Dublin. His internationally-acclaimed work includes The Hanging Gardens; The Match Box; The Factory Girls; Baglady, the multi-award winning Observe The Sons Of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme; Innocence; Mary And Lizzie; Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (New York Critics Circle Award, Writers Guild Award for Best Play, 1992); Dolly West's Kitchen; Gates Of Gold; Speaking Like Magpies; There Came A Gypsy Riding and When Greta Garbo Came To Donegal. Frank's widely performed adaptations of classics include Lorca's Yerma; Chekhov's Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya; Brecht's The Threepenny Opera and The Caucasian Chalk Circle; Sophocles' Electra and Oedipus; Euripides' Helen; Ostrovsky's The Storm, Strindberg's Miss Julie and Ibsen's Rosmersholm, Hedda Gabler, The Lady From The Sea, A Doll's House; Ghosts; John Gabriel Borkman; Molina's Damned by Despair and most recently James Joyce's The Dead. Frank is currently working on an opera cycle on the Oedipus Trilogy for the Royal Opera House. TV/screenplays include the award-winning The Hen House BBC2 and the celebrated BBC drama A Short Stay In Switzerland.

The Old Vic is delighted to be collaborating with Sonia Friedman Productions again as part of their in the round season following their successful co-ventures with Dancing at Lughnasa and the Broadway transfer of The Norman Conquests.

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