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Matthew Warchus to succeed Kevin Spacey as Old Vic artistic director

The Matilda director will take over Spacey's duties from autumn 2015

Matthew Warchus has been announced as Kevin Spacey’s successor at the Old Vic, where he will take on the role of artistic director.

The 47-year-old director and dramatist, whose credits include Matilda the Musical and new Cannes film Pride, is due to start the job in autumn 2015.

Spacey, known for American Beauty and more recently House of Cards, has praised the “thoughtful, intuitive and highly creative” Warchus.

“I have long admired his work and had a wonderful experience when we worked together on Speed-the-Plow,” said Spacey. “Matthew has rightly been applauded for his work, in particular the quality and diversity of his portfolio.”

Warchus responded: “I am excited and honoured to be following Kevin’s galvanising tenure at this wonderful building. He has re-established the Old Vic as a globally important theatre and I look forward to continuing to develop it as a hub of invigorating creativity.”

No press conference was held for the announcement, with Warchus somewhat of a surprise appointment. Many had tipped Kenneth Branagh as the lead contender for the role.

“This is a key appointment for the Old Vic, building on the many achievements of Kevin Spacey since 2004,” said Nick Clarry, chairman of The Old Vic Theatre Trust. “We believe that the next few years will be a very exciting time.”