Spacey started the company’s inaugural season by directing Cloaca, and returned to star in Dennis McIntyre’s National Anthems, directed by the young Brit David Grindley. For the season’s last show, he has brought in the multi award-winning (including four Tonys) Broadway director Jerry Zaks.
Zaks told Playbill.com how he chased the project: “I’d read that Philadelphia Story was to be one of the plays in the Old Vic season. I had just changed agents, and I think the same agency represents Kevin, so I had my agent contact him. I don’t recall getting a job that way in my life before, but I really wanted to do this play. I didn’t know at the beginning that Kevin wanted to be in it. I met [the Old Vic Company’s producer] David Liddiment in New York, and he told me Kevin wanted to play in it. That was fine by me. He’s a great actor — he has an unpredictability to what he does that you just can’t teach.”
According to a very enthusiastic Zaks, there’s a great ensemble spirit in the company. “The show’s nearly up on its feet,” he said, two weeks before the opening, “and there’s not an asshole in the group. By that I mean someone whose personal agenda is more important than the work. Everyone is so focussed, and I’m enjoying their trust. That’s a rare gift.”
Spacey himself will leave the show between June 19 and Aug. 8 to film the new “Superman” movie. It is not yet known who will replace him during that period. He returns on Aug. 8 and will remain until the end of its scheduled run on Sept. 3. However, he has also said that there is a window in his diary for a possible West End or Broadway transfer, and the involvement of the West End impresario Duncan C. Weldon, on board as co-producer, would certainly help to facilitate that.
Jennifer Ehle co-stars as Tracy Lord. The rest of the cast includes D.W. Moffett, Oliver Cotton, Nicholas Le Prevost, Julia McKenzie, Lauren Ward, Richard Lintern and Damien Matthews. Designs are by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Tom Rand, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Fergus O’Hare. For more information, call (0)870 060 6628.