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Alexandra

Kevin Spacey to Run Old Vic

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Kevin Spacey to run the Old Vic

KEVIN SPACEY, the double Oscar-winning actor, is to be named as the new artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre in London.  

The surprise announcement, which will be supported by the theatre’s chairman, Sir Elton John, could come as soon as tomorrow.

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Alexandra--when I read the above announcement I thought you were joking--and it was too early to be April 1. But I read it in the 'Times' this morning so it is true!

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I did too, atm. I thought I'd discovered a wonderful site that was a mock The Times (of London) not only for the headline, but some other tidbits in the article as well. (And I'd missed the Sir Elton John appointment and thought that was a real howler.)

There were other articles in the sidebar: "Shuttle crash caused by God," etc. that reminded me of my adored, lamended satirewire that did this kind of thing.

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I was quite suprised at this. He is certainly not , in a rational world, a candidate for artistic director of any theatre, let alone the Old Vic. He's not a director, and he's never run a theatre. But after reading the article, I understand perfectly. The British continue to confound me. Letting the Old Vic, with its glorious history, rot and collapse is like us watching Carnegie Hall meet a similar fate. I am glad Spacey has stepped up to this challenge and wish him all the best.

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Spacey may not be a director or theater administrator, but he does have a background in theater. He was classically trained at Juilliard, whose drama school is one of the best in the world, and was a stage actor before making it big in films.

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...and I can drive a car, but I don't think I should be allowed to build one!

He is obviously a generous deep-pocketed famous actor who cares about the Old Vic. I applaud that.

But shouldn't one be a director...to be a ...director?

Do they have to hand the whole bloody thing over to him?

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The Old Vic has been at death's door more than once in recent years. I quite agree that attending Juilliard and having a stage background doesn't qualify one to run a company, or there'd be throngs of suitable candidates, but it does help to show that the choice of Spacey isn't ludicrous. He's acted there, and he seems to know and like the place. My impression is that he's a pretty sharp guy, and there's no reason to think he won't do a decent job and in any case the theatre is running out of options. If Spacey and Elton John are willing to devote time, money, and energy to the project, more power to them. The Old Vic could do a lot worse.

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I think he's a sensible choice.

He's run his own company for some time (triggerstreet)

and while he may not have directed before, he has at least acted.

Did Martins, McKenzie... run a ballet company before?

I've seen Spacey at many Broadway and off-Broadway productions and he is on the "board" of several theater groups in NY.

Even if he isn't the best, at least he's brought attention back to the Vic

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For what it's worth, Martins had been doing at least some portion of the ballet master duties at NYCB before he was appointed, so that may be thought of as a sort of apprenticeship training. McKenzie had run Washington Ballet at least briefly as well.

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Spacey is an accomplished stage actor. He is particularly known for his interpretations of the plays of Eugene O'Neill. He's a good choice in my opinion as the Vic needs some one with artistic vision, which I think Spacey has. Let's give at least as much of chance as we gave Ross Stretton.

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Would really like to hear from a Brit on this one.

Who were the Britiish candidates for the job?

Or did it fall to American Spacey (and his fundraising abilities) by default due to money being the primary problem at this point.

I would also like to point out that Mr. Spacey is steeped in American Naturalism. Not sure sure how that translates into

the tradition of classic theatre at the Old Vic.

Bit like naming Savion Glover head of the Royal Ballet...

I suppose I'll give up on his not being a director, since that seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Has the ballet world become so used to The Male Principal Principle that it feels the need to apply said MPP to other branches of the Arts?

For yet the third time I will also point out my gratefulness to Mr. Spacey for helping to save such a grand instituion. I would, however, have thought his seat on the board sufficient.

Sir Peter Hall...Jonathan Miller...Kevin Spacey?

I remain astonished!

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Spacey talks about his plans for the Olc Vic in the Daily Telegraph.

"There's also been a bit of misreporting about the theatre having been some kind of a failure and that I'm riding in on a white horse and saving it, which is a bit of a disservice to the people who have been working there for the last five years doing major productions that have been selling out; the theatre has actually been running at a profit since we redesigned the board in 1998, so it's been doing quite well."

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Robert Altman, not a director known for his theatre work, will stage Arthur Miller's last play for Spacey and the Old Vic.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1565859,00.html

Perhaps only Altman is a big enough elder statesman to tackle Arthur Miller's last testament - an inspired piece of director-casting on the part of the Old Vic's artistic director, Kevin Spacey.

Hollywood actors come over to the West End all the time, of course, attracted by a relatively short run, all-expenses-paid accommodation in a top hotel or apartment, bags of prestige - and they've often got a good deal of theatre experience to draw upon anyway.

But will a Hollywood director find it quite the same congenial experience? It is unusual to work this way round. Olivier worked in both media; Sam Mendes handles both - both started in the theatre. Ingmar Bergman directed for the stage, working in his own more rarefied atmosphere.

I don't know about "inspired," but we'll see.

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