Spacey Replaces Canceled BAM Project With Hall's Pygmalion
By John Nathan
Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey has invited Peter Hall's production of Pygmalion to fill the hole in his season created by the canceled Bridge Project productions of Hamlet and The Tempest.
Hall's revival of George Bernard Shaw's enduring classic opened at the Theatre Royal Bath June 28. The transfer to London will see Tim Piggott-Smith and Michelle Dockery (His Dark Materials) reprise their performances as, respectively, Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle.
Piggot-Smith appeared with Spacey in Howard Davies' production of The Iceman Cometh, the production which in large part changed the course of Spacey's career from Hollywood to London.
Piggot-Smith's other credits include See How They Run, Julius Caesar and Mourning Becomes Electra.
The canceled productions of Hamlet and The Tempest, starring Stephen Dillane, were to kick off The Bridge Project collaboration between director Sam Mendes, London's Old Vic and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). In July Dillane pulled out of the project because of illness in his family.
The previously announced second cycle of The Bridge Project will continue as planned in the autumn of 2008 with Mendes' productions of A Winter's Tale and The Cherry Orchard starring Simon Russell Beale, who will play Leontes and Lopakhin.
Both plays will open at BAM in January 2009, before visiting international venues - yet to be announced - and arriving at The Old Vic in the summer.
Hall's Rose Theatre, a long-gestating project, is finally due to open at Kingston-upon-Thames next year with a production of Uncle Vanya on Jan. 16. But in the meantime his production of Coward's The Vortex, starring Felicity Kendal and Dan Stevens, opens at the the Theatre Royal Windsor. A West End transfer is expected next year.
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