The production is scheduled to begin performances Jan. 7, 2009, prior to an official opening Jan. 22. The limited engagement will run through Feb. 21.
Dreyfuss was previously seen in the West End in 1999 when he starred in Neil Simon's The Prisoner of Second Avenue at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, and was subsequently due to play Max Bialystock in the original London company of Mel Brooks' The Producers in 2004, but withdrew just days before previews were due to begin. Broadway's original Bialystock, Nathan Lane, replaced him for the opening months of the show's run.
In the new American play, which explores our current political climate, Dreyfuss plays Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ben Kritzer, who is hauled before the Supreme Court where he faces the dilemma of defending his belief in the freedom of the press or protecting his family.
In a press statement, Dreyfuss said, "There is no greater place to be human than in front of humans. No greater way to reflect being human. No greater place than The Old Vic. I'm very excited to have a chance of not being fired before the opening. So far I'm batting 500. Stay tuned!"
Dreyfuss can currently be seen in Oliver Stone's 2008 bio-pic "W," in which he plays Vice-President Dick Cheney. His many film credits include starring roles in "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "The Goodbye Girl" (Academy Award for Best Actor), "Down and Out in Beverley Hills," "Tin Men," "What About Bob?" and "Mr. Holland's Opus" (nominated for Oscar and Golden Globe). His Broadway stage credits include short-lived runs in But, Seriously…. in 1969 and Total Abandon in 1983 (running just one night), and longer runs in Death and the Maiden in 1992 and Sly Fox in 2004. In a press statement, Old Vic artistic director Spacey said, "I am delighted that Richard is to join our fifth season with Complicit and is coming to The Old Vic to take on this challenging role. He is a brilliant actor whom I've long admired and I'm thrilled that we are being given this opportunity to work together. It's great that he's coming to London and I think audiences are in for a real treat."
Spacey also directed Cloaca, the inaugural production of his tenure at the Old Vic in 2004, subsequently appeared at the venue as an actor in National Anthems, The Philadelphia Story, Richard II, A Moon for the Misbegotten (subsequently transferring to Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre) and Speed-the-Plow. He has also appeared in London in The Iceman Cometh (Almeida, then Old Vic) and Jonathan Miller's production of Long Day's Journey Into Night (Theatre Royal, Haymarket). According to the press release, "he also sometimes works in the film industry."
Sutton's previous plays include Voir Dire (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the Best Play Award of the American Theatre Critics Association), As It Is in Heaven, The Benefits of Doubt, The Third Army, Special Interests, Restoring The Sun and Black Market.
Further casting is to be announced. To book tickets contact the box office at 0870 060 6628 or visit www.oldvictheatre.com.