According to a press statement, the season "continues The Old Vic's tradition as a great actors' theatre, championing both established and young talent under the guidance of some of the greatest theatre directors in Britain."
Spacey commented, "It’s hard to believe that we are now preparing to open our seventh season at The Old Vic. These are three great plays that all rather brilliantly explore the attitudes of their time and offer wonderful roles to actors. I am delighted to welcome Lisa Dillon, such a compelling and exciting young actress, to our stage in two productions, alongside Tom Burke, whose work I’ve admired since we acted together in the movie 'Telstar,' and Tom Hollander, one of the finest and funniest leading actors of his generation. It is of course a huge thrill to welcome Anthony Page and Richard Eyre, both supremely talented directors, to The Old Vic. We are also delighted to be part of the centenary celebrations for Terence Rattigan and I can't wait to see Thea Sharrock translate his work to the stage."
The season begins with Anthony Page directing Tom Burke, Lisa Dillon and Andrew Scott in Noël Coward's Design for Living, beginning performances Sept. 3, prior to an official opening Sept. 15, for a season through Nov. 27. According to press materials, the play revolves around three egotistical, beguiling and self-absorbed characters – Gilda, Otto, and Leo – who challenge the moral boundaries of relationships. The production is co-produced with Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer. In a press statement, director Page commented, "I love this play for the miraculous lightness of the dialogue which contains a huge range of passions. The central relationship ‐ the involvement of two bisexuals and a girl ‐ is no longer shocking as it was the 30s, when it had to be presented in a somewhat coded fashion for the play to be performed. But Noel Coward’s unsentimental clarity in his analysis of their passion for each other and for success ‐ and the way this brings them pain and ecstasy over the years ‐ has the brilliance of a classic dark comedy."
It is followed by Richard Eyre directing Tom Hollander and Lisa Dillon in John Mortimer's version of Georges Feydeau's 1907 farce A Flea in Her Ear, previously presented at the Old Vic under the auspices of the then-resident National Theatre in 1966. The new production begins performances Dec. 4, prior to an official opening Dec. 14, for a season through March 5, 2011. It is billed in press materials as a comedy of errors set against a backdrop of jealousy, misunderstandings and confrontation. When Raymonde (Dillon) suspects her husband Victor (Hollander) of infidelity, she enlists the help of a friend to set a trap resulting in mistaken identities, bruised egos and comic disaster. A Flea in Her Ear is a co-production with Sonia Friedman Productions. In a press statement, director Eyre commented, "I really admire what Kevin Spacey has done at The Old Vic and am thrilled to be working there for the first time since I directed Comedians in 1974."
The season concludes with Terence Rattigan's final play Cause Célèbre, beginning performances March 17 prior to an official opening March 29, for a season through June 11, 2011. Based on the true story of Alma Rattenbury, who went on trial with her 18-year-old lover for the murder of her husband, her fate is in the hands of the socially and sexually repressed jury forewoman, Edith. In a press statement, director Sharrock commented, "Having just directed Terence Rattigan's second play, After The Dance, I am thrilled now to be part of his centenary celebrations next year with his last play, Cause Célèbre. And I can't think of a better stage for it than the historic Old Vic, a first for me as well as for him." To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7628, or visit www.oldvictheatre.com.