Mike Fleming

American Beauty‘s Kevin Spacey and Sam Mendes have formalized their plans to re-team in a stage production of Richard III, which will premiere at Spacey’s haunt The Old Vic June 29, 2011 and transplant to the Brooklyn Academy of Music the following January. Here’s the official release:

The final season of The Bridge Project starring Kevin Spacey, Artistic Director of The Old Vic, in the title role of Richard III, will open at The Old Vic in London on June 29, 2011. The Bridge Project will then embark on an international tour, arriving at BAM’s Harvey Theater in New York in January 2012. The Bridge Project will again be directed by Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes with whom Spacey worked on the film American Beauty, for which they both won BAFTA and Academy Awards.

The Bridge Project is a unique three-year series of co-productions by The Old Vic, BAM and Neal Street, devoted to producing large-scale, classical theatre for international audiences.

The full company will again be drawn from leading American and British actors, with complete casting and international dates to be announced. Tickets will go on sale at The Old Vic from January 31, 2011 and at BAM in Fall 2011.

Commenting on the final season, Sam Mendes says:

“I am absolutely delighted to be working with Kevin again for the first time since American Beauty, and I am doubly thrilled that he will be leading year three of The Bridge Project. Richard III is a play I love, and a role I think Kevin is born to play. I’m also thrilled that the partnership between our three entities has strengthened and blossomed over the course of this venture, along with a host of invaluable international partnerships that have enabled us to extend the reach of global touring year after year.”

The Old Vic Artistic Director Kevin Spacey, who plays Richard III, says:

“Sam, [BAM Executive Producer] Joe [Melillo], and I are so excited to announce this production. Sam is one of the finest directors I have had the pleasure to work with and to gain this opportunity is beyond my wildest hopes. I love Sam’s perspective on a role, carving and shaping the actor. With such a remarkable character before me I have a feeling this one is going to be a memorable experience. It is also my hope to bring a comprehensive educational programme and opportunities for emerging artists along with our travels, making an argument for the living theatre in all the major cities we will visit throughout 2011. We’re delighted that Bank of America Merrill Lynch has come on board for another season as our sponsor and I applaud their continued support for our work.”

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