Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey this week announced details of his fourth season in charge of the legendary Waterloo theatre.
The programme will begin in August with the world premiere of Southwark-based Samuel Adamson's new play based on Pedro Almodovar's acclaimed film All About My Mother.
In January 2008 Spacey will star in David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow. Mamet's witty, caustic plot – filled with his trademark rapid-fire dialogue – satirises the behind-the-scenes deal making in the movie business. Spacey plays Bobby Gould, a Hollywood producer, in this tale of greed, seduction and power.
It will mark Spacey'a return to The Old Vic stage following the award-winning productions of Richard II in 2005 and A Moon for the Misbegotten in 2006, the latter currently running on Broadway with its original London cast.
In May 2008 Sam Mendes will direct a transatlantic company of actors in a double-bill of classic works for 'The Bridge Project', a three-year series of co-productions between The Old Vic, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Neal Street Productions. This season Stephen Dillane will play the title role in Hamlet and Prospero in The Tempest. The productions mark Mendes' return to the London theatre following six years directing for film and stage in the US.
"This is a diverse programme of work which reflects our artistic ambitions – a new play, a family show, a 20th century American classic and two Shakespeares," says Kevin Spacey.
"The world premiere of All About My Mother will be a major theatrical event and hugely exciting for theatre-goers; and Stephen Fry's witty and mischievous take on Cinderellais a mouth-watering prospect for audiences of all ages.
"I'm looking forward to getting back to The Old Vic stage with Speed-the-Plow; and I'm thrilled to welcome my good friend Sam Mendes to The Old Vic with 'The Bridge Project.' We've built a strong relationship with audiences over the past three years and I believe that these new shows will contribute to The Old Vic's reputation for great plays and great performances. With The Entertainer ending a hugely successful run this past weekend, and our current adventure on Broadway with A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Old Vic is on great form."
The Old Vic has also announced that Aditya Mittal has committed to underwrite the theatre's discounted tickets for under 25 year olds for the next two years. Since 2004 The Old Vic has offered 100 seats at every performance to under-25s at the reduced rate of £12.
"Tickets are just too expensive for many young people and we're indebted to
Aditya for supporting our work in this way," says Spacey.