Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic Season Announced: Altman to Direct Miller’s Resurrection Blues

News   Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic Season Announced: Altman to Direct Miller’s Resurrection Blues
Kevin Spacey has announced the productions for his Old Vic Company for 2006. On the schedule are a revival of Aladdin with Ian McKellen, an Iraqi-British collaboration on The Soldier's Tale, Robert Altman’s London theatre debut with Arthur Miller’s Resurrection Blues and Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten.
Robert Altman
Robert Altman

The spring 2006 production has yet to be confirmed.

Following Spacey’s turn in Shakespeare’s Richard II (directed by Trevor Nunn, which begins previews Sept. 13), Billie Brown’s version of Aladdin will move back into the Old Vic in December. Returning with McKellen (as Widow Twanky) will be director Sean Mathias, and Roger Allam as Abbanazar. Replacing Maureen Lipman as Dim Sum will be Frances Barber.

The Soldier's Talehas been in development for some time by director Andrew Steggall (who has previously worked with Jeremy Irons on the project). The new version is by Iraqi poet Abdulkareem Kasid and Rebecca Lenkiewicz. And, Steggall directs a combined Western and Middle Eastern company. Stravinsky’s score is conducted by Robin O’Neill.

That follows the spring 2006 show and precedes Altman’s first London stage directing stint with Miller’s Resurrection Blues. The play is one of Miller’s last, and he was drafting rewrites to it just a month before his death. Premiered in the U.S. in 2002, the black comedy depicts a revolution brewing in a South American banana republic. When the rebel leader is captured, a New York production company arrives to televise his execution, leading to an explosive chain of events. The satirical material is not too far from Altman’s film work, which has included such movie satires as “The Player” and “M*A*S*H,”as well as “Nashville,” “Gosford Park” and “Short Cuts.”

In autumn 2006 Howard Davies will direct Spacey in O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten. The pair won awards and plaudits for their previous O’Neill outing, The Iceman Cometh in 1998. Spacey plays Jim Tyrone, an actor whose alcoholism destroyed his dreams of stardom. The play was first performed on Broadway in 1957, with Cyril Cusack in the cast. Later revivals there saw Jason Robards, Ian Bannen and Gabriel Byrne in Spacey’s part. In a press release, Spacey comments, “Our first season of productions was only the beginning of our commitment to deliver a challenging and entertaining program, with writers and productions never before seen on the London stage. We are thrilled that so many people, over 250,000, made The Old Vic their destination in our first season. This new slate of plays takes our company forward and continues our ambition to tackle a diverse range of productions and attract the very best directing talent to the Old Vic.”

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