Old Vic Season to Include Kevin Spacey in Clarence Darrow, Kristin Scott Thomas in Electra and More

By Mark Shenton
18 Mar 2014

The new season at London's Old Vic will see the return of artistic director Kevin Spacey to his own stage to star in a solo play, Clarence Darrow, in June (directed by Thea Sharrock), followed by new productions of Arthur Miller's The Crucible in July (directed by Yaёl Farber) and Kristin Scott Thomas in Electra in October (directed by Ian Rickson).



The season will be presented in the Old Vic's CQS Space, an in-the-round transformation of the theatre's auditorium that was first employed for the 2008 production of The Norman Conquests that subsequently transferred to Broadway.

In a press statement, Spacey commented, "I am thrilled to be returning to The Old Vic stage, for the first time performing in the round, such an exciting transformation of our Old Vic space for actors and audiences alike. As I celebrate ten years at the helm of this very special theatre it feels great to be returning to the character of Clarence Darrow, whom I played both onstage in Inherit the Wind and 22 years ago in the PBS film 'Darrow.'"

He continued, "This is a diverse programme of classic and new work which we are very proud to present to theatregoers as we close our tenth season of work and open our eleventh season this September. To present Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is an honor and I am delighted to be joining forces with Ian Rickson and Kristin Scott Thomas and our longtime co-producer Sonia Friedman to come together with Electra. I know our audience will be excited by this programme and I can’t wait to be back on stage myself."

Clarence Darrow, written by David W. Rintels, will begin performances May 28 for a limited run through June 15 only. The June 13 performance will include In Conversation with Kevin Spacey after the performance. On June 14 a gala performance will be held in aid of the Old Vic Theatre Trust, for which £500 tickets will include a pre-show champagne reception and post-show party.

In the play, the larger than life Darrow relives some of his pivotal experiences, including the infamous Scopes Monkey and Thrill Killers’ trials, which established his reputation as a courtroom giant and civil rights hero.

Spacey has previously appeared at the Old Vic in Richard III, Speed-the-Plow, National Anthems, The Philadelphia Story, A Moon for the Misbegotten (which subsequently transferred to Broadway) and in Trevor Nunn's productions of Inherit the Wind and Richard II. Other theatre includes The Iceman Cometh (Almeida, The Old Vic and Broadway), Lost in Yonkers (Tony Award, Best Supporting Actor), Long Day's Journey into Night with Jack Lemmon, directed by Jonathan Miller (Broadway and West End). He directed Cloaca, the inaugural production of his regime, as well as Complicit there. He is currently starring as Francis Underwood in the Netflix series "House of Cards."

The Crucible will begin performances June 24 for a run through Sept.13. According to press materials, this will be a visceral re-imagining of Arthur Miller’s modern American masterpiece about the Salem witch trials drawing parallels with his experience of McCarthy’s anti-communist investigations in the 1950’s.

Director Yaël Farber's most recent work Nirbhaya (directed and written by her in India) was seen at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival and has just completed a sold-out run at The Southbank Centre. Mies Julie (written and directed by Farber) was seen at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival and subsequently played in London and New York, where it was named one of the Top Ten Productions of 2012 by The New York Times, and Top Five Productions of 2012 by The Guardian.

Electra will begin performances Sept. 20 for a run through Dec. 20. Presented in a version by Frank McGuinness, it is co-produced with Sonia Friedman Productions. It is described in press materials as "a charged adaptation of the classic drama of Electra and Orestes' revenge on their father’s murderers."

Thomas gained international recognition in the 1990s for her roles in "Bitter Moon," "Four Weddings and A Funeral" (for which she won the BAFTA Film Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role) and "The English Patient" (for which she received a Golden Globe nomination as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress). Subsequent films include "Gosford Park," "Mission: Impossible," "The Horse Whisperer," "Keeping Mum," "Nowhere Boy," "Easy Virtue," "Ne le dis à person (Tell No One), "Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I've Loved You So Long)," "Partir (Leaving)," "Sarah's Key" and "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen."

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7628 or visit oldvictheatre.com.