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Page 3 Profile: Kevin Spacey, actor

Lights, camera, action…

Actually, forget the camera. Double Oscar winner Kevin Spacey is to star in a one-man play at the Old Vic this summer to mark 10 years as artistic director of the London theatre. Spacey, 54, will star as the pioneering 19th-century lawyer Clarence Darrow, in a play of the same name.

But what about House of Cards?

Fear not, he will be taking just a short break from filming the cult American political drama to perform in the David W Rintels play. The actor is due to step down as the artistic director of the institution next year and has said he is “thrilled” to be returning to the Old Vic stage. “As I celebrate 10 years at the helm of this very special theatre it feels great to be returning to the character of Clarence Darrow,” he said.

Wait, he’s played Darrow before?

Yes – twice. On stage at the Old Vic in 2009 for the play Inherit the Wind, and in the 1991 television movie Darrow, directed by John Coles, who has also directed Spacey in House of Cards.

What’s special about this play, then?

Theatregoers will be able to scrutinise Spacey’s performance from all angles as the stage will be positioned in the centre of the audience with the venue’s proscenium-arch auditorium transformed into an in-the-round stage. The play is part of the venue’s in-the-round season, which will also see Kristin Scott Thomas star in Sophocles’ Greek tragedy Electra. Spacey said: “I know our audience will be excited by this programme and I can’t wait to be back on stage.”

Will he be gracing our cinema screens any time soon?

Although he may find himself with a little spare time after bowing out of his position as artistic director, it seems likely Spacey will continue to devote himself to stage acting. He recently said that he finds theatre a “more liberating” artistic form than film, describing it as “incredibly satisfying”. He may be in need of a well-earned rest, though. Of his time at the Old Vic he has said it has been “the most challenging artistic and financial job” he has ever had. “It was a tough road, tougher than anyone knows,” he added.

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