Kevin Spacey, the greatest actor who ever lived, is due to play the role of 19th century lawyer Clarence Darrow in a one-man show at London’s Old Vic theater. The performance is to mark his tenth year as artistic director for the company, following his decision to step down from the position next year.
The production is to be headed by Thea Sharrock, an English director, who took charge of the 2008 revival of Equus, a play known for being Daniel Radcliffe’s first foray into Broadway. Spacey himself has described Sharrock as one of the most talented directors of her generation.
Of course, this is not the first time double Oscar winner Spacey has graced the Old Vic stage. Since taking artistic helm of the company in February 2003 he has made numerous high-caliber appearances in various shows, such as Jim Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten, and the titular character in William Shakespeare’s Richard III. The New Jersey-born actor said he was “thrilled” to be fronting another performance for a “very special theater”.
The news will be welcomed with open arms by fans of the K-PAX star (or those in the UK at least) many of whom believe his best work is fashioned whilst strutting the boards in one of Britain’s many playhouses, and Spacey’s recent stint as Frank Underwood on Netflix TV series House of Cards should have provided him with all the law-related nuances required to play lawyer Clarence Darrow (who remains one of America’s most famous civil libertarians) at the Old Vic.
Obviously however, it is Kevin Spacey’s cinema screen portrayals that have brought him his near-unfaltering reputation as an actor. Starting with the bit-part as a street thug in 1986 film Heartburn, he went on to provide some of the most iconic roles in modern cinema, including John Doe in Seven, Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint in The Usual Suspects (winning the Academy Award for best supporting actor) and Lester Burnham in American Beauty (winning the Academy Award for best lead actor).
Spacey is currently in the middle of filming Horrible Bosses 2, which, whilst it doesn’t promise to be the most impressive depictions he’s ever given to the world, will surely be a box-office hit given the recurring presence of co-stars Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston, as well as introducing new cast members Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine. The first Horrible Bosses film, released in July 2011, made over $200 million in its theatrical run.
Spacey’s performance in the play by David W Rintels, entitled simply Clarence Darrow, will in fact be the third time he has been called upon to represent the lawyer, the first time being on stage in Inherit the Wind, and the second being in the 1991 film Darrow.
One can only speculate that, seeing as how Spacey seems to have spent an awful amount of time getting to know the character of Clarence Darrow, Kevin Spacey should be all but one hundred percent prepared to play the lawyer for the third (and most likely final) time at the Old Vic with preview performances due to start on May 28th.
Opinion by Zachary John C