Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Front Row program, Spacey warned Old Vic punters to behave. He lashed out at people who let their mobile phones ring in the theatre or open sweets in a noisy way. “I don’t think people take those things seriously,” he said. “That’s why mobile phones go off . . . and that’s why people open candy bars thinking if they open it slowly it will be less annoying than if they open it fast. My answer is that I say to each audience, ‘Don’t!’ You have to respect the fact there is some degree of behavior that we expect in the theatre and we’re going to demand it at the Old Vic.” Spacey plans to record a message to be played before each performance. “It’s a phone-free zone,” he told the BBC. “We don’t want them ringing and we certainly don’t want them ringing and people ignoring them pretending that it's not theirs. My feeling is if people don’t know how to behave they shouldn’t come.”
There was currently a phone controversy at the National Theatre during a performance of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys. After the same offender had allowed his phone to go off about half-a-dozen times, actor Richard Griffiths asked him to leave.
Cloaca opens at the Old Vic on Sept. 28. The cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Neil Pearson, Stephen Tompkinson and Adrian Lukis. Spacey directs.