In the classic courtroom drama, which runs through Dec. 20, Spacey and Troughton play the two legal titans Matthew Harrison Brady and Henry Drummond, respectively, who confront each other when a close-knit community puts freedom of thought on trial.
The company also includes Paris Arrowsmith, Paul Birchard, Ken Bones, Adam Booth, David Burrows, Sonya Cassidy, Ian Conningham, Sam Cox, Mark Dexter, Mary Doherty, Branwell Donaghey, Janine Duvitski, Sarah Ingram, Nicholas Jones, Sid Livingstone, Simon Lee Phillips, Sam Phillips, Vincent Pirillo, Christopher Ragland, Susan Tracy and Janet Whiteside.
The production is designed by Rob Howell, with costumes by Howell and Irene Bohan, lighting by Howard Harrison and sound by Fergus O'Hare.
Based on the famous 1925 Scopes "Monkey" trial in which science teacher John Scopes was accused of violating a Tennessee state statute by teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to his students, the play revolves around schoolteacher Bertram Cates, who violates a state law and finds himself at the center of a court case that not only shakes the United States but resonates across the world. This production marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species" and the 200th anniversary of his birth. The play originally premiered on Broadway in 1955, and has been revived there in 1996 (starring George C. Scott) and 2007 (with Christopher Plummer).
In a previous press statement, director Nunn commented, "I directed scenes from this remarkable play when I was a student, and realized then just how electric and involving it could be for audiences. So I feel unusually fulfilled, more than a generation later, to be able to direct Kevin Spacey and David Troughton in this Titanic clash of ideas. The debate it presents, that goes to the heart of what freedom means in America, continues to find its way into the courtrooms of the United States in Darwin's Anniversary year. Somehow, I don't think Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee would be surprised." In addition to Richard II, Spacey has also appeared on the Old Vic stage in The Iceman Cometh (in the transfer of the Almeida Theatre production in 1998, prior to taking over the running of the theatre in 2003), National Anthems, The Philadelphia Story, A Moon for the Misbegotten (which subsequently transferred to Broadway) and Speed-the-Plow. He has also directed the premieres of the plays Cloaca and Complicit there.
Troughton was last seen on the London stage in the transfer of Bath Theatre Royal's production of Alan Bennett's Enjoy to the West End's Gielgud Theatre. Other work includes many productions at the RSC, including Macbeth, Henry IV Pts 1 & 2, Richard II, Richard III (Globe Theatre Award, Best Actor), The Tempest, King Lear, Troilus & Cressida, The Venetian Twins and The Cherry Orchard. He has also appeared at the Naional Theatre in Playing with Fire, Measure for Measure and Peter Pan. Recent television and film credits include "New Tricks" (BBC), "Casualty 1909" (BBC), "Dr. Who" (BBC), "Fingersmith" (BBC), "Twelfth Night" (Projector), "Madame Bovary" (BBC) and "Nouvelle France" (Bespoke Films).
To book tickets, contact the box office at 0844 871 7628 or visit www.oldvictheatre.com.