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Kevin Spacey returns to the role of Clarence Darrow at the Old Vic

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING his sell-out, critically acclaimed run of 22 performances in 2014, Kevin Spacey is returning to the role of Clarence Darrow. Marking the Hollywood actor’s last appearance on The Old Vic stage whilst Artistic Director, David W Rintels’ play runs from March 3 to April 11, 2015.

In this compelling one man tour-de-force, larger than life Darrow relives some of his pivotal experiences with his legendary wit – the infamous Scopes ‘Monkey’ and ‘Thrill Killers’ trials for example, which established his reputation as a courtroom giant and civil rights hero.

Kevin Spacey said:

“As my time at the helm of The Old Vic is drawing to a close, it felt the right choice to bring back Clarence Darrow. I had such a short run with the production last year and so many didn’t get the chance to see it, that it felt like a great opportunity to do a longer run.

“Clarence Darrow is a role I’ve gotten to play three different times – in a 1992 film about his life, as the lawyer Drummond in Inherit the Wind and finally in the marvellous David Rintels’ one-man play, Clarence Darrow, last year. Perhaps it is true what they say, if you do something long enough you just might get good at it.

“I look forward to sharing Darrow’s remarkable, inspiring life one more time in London, as we build towards the excitement of Matthew Warchus taking on the role of Artistic Director at our beloved Old Vic.”

Kevin Spacey has previously appeared in the Old Vic productions Richard III, Speed-the-Plow with Jeff Goldblum, National Anthems, The Philadelphia Story, A Moon for the Misbegotten, which subsequently transferred to Broadway, and in Trevor Nunn’s productions of Inherit the Wind and Richard II.

His previous theatre includes The Iceman Cometh (Evening Standard and Olivier Awards for Best Actor, Tony Award nomination), Lost in Yonkers (Tony Award, Best Supporting Actor) and Long Days Journey Into Night with Jack Lemmon, directed by Jonathan Miller (Broadway and West End). He also directed The Old Vic’s inaugural production Cloaca as well as Complicit, starring Richard Dreyfuss.

Kevin Spacey is currently starring as Francis Underwood in House of Cards, for which he recently won a Golden Globe.

Clarence Darrow is directed by Thea Sharrock, who made her directorial debut with a production of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls. Her other credits include Cause Celebre (Old Vic), Equus, The Misanthrope and Heroes (West End), After the Dance (National Theatre), Henry V (Sam Mendes/Neal Street and the BBC), Call the Midwife (Christmas Special), The Sunshine Boys (Savoy Theatre) and The Bodyguard (Adelphi Theatre).

Utilising his background in law, David W Rintels has written extensively for many legal series on television, including The Defenders, Slattery’s People, The Senator and The Young Lawyers.

Staged in the round, Clarence Darrow is designed by Alan Macdonald, with lighting by Guy Hoare, music by Adrian Johnston and sound by Gregory Clarke.

Tickets on general public sale from Friday, January 30, 2015.

Tree, a play for two people by Daniel Kitson, continues at The Old Vic until January 31, 2015. Clarence Darrow will be followed – from April 30 to August 22, 2015 – by High Society, directed by Maria Friedman.