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Almodovar, Fry and Mendes confirmed in new Old Vic season

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

The 2007/8 Old Vic season, which was announced today, opens with the world premiere of Samuel Adamson's stage adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother. The season also sees Artistic Director Kevin Spacey return to the Old Vic stage in David Mamet's Speed-The-Plow, Sam Mendes direct Stephen Dillane in Hamlet and The Tempest, and the return of the Old Vic panto with a Stephen Fry-penned version of Cinderella.

All About My Mother, which opens on 4 September following previews from 25 August, is the first time that Oscar-winner Almodóvar has given permission for any of his work to be made into an English-language stage production. The production has been five years in the making and is directed by Tom Cairns (Aristocrats at the National, Phaedre at the Donmar Warehouse).

All About My Mother tells the story of Manuela, who, following the tragic death of her son, journeys to Barcelona to find the father her son never knew. Before she can achieve her goal, her life becomes entwined with that of three other women; a long-lost transvestite friend, a young nun searching for love and a famous actress admired by her son.

The season's second world premiere follows the first, with Fry's Cinderella opening on 9 December (previews from 4 December). This new production aims to follow the success of Aladdin, which was staged at the Waterloo venue in 2004 and 2005, featuring Sir Ian McKellen as Widow Twankey.

Speaking about Cinderella, writer/actor/presenter Fry said: "I've tried to remember that for many children who come, it will be their first Cinderella, their first pantomime and their first visit to a theatre, and that for many adults it will be their first return to pantomime since their own childhoods. Pantomime should be the beginning of a never-ending love affair with the theatre. Oh yes it should."

Spacey plays Hollywood producer Bobby Gould in Mamet's movie business satire Speed-The Plow (January-April 2008). Gould has to decide whether to make another blockbuster movie that could see him wallowing in money or try an adaptation of a spiritual novel offered to him by his secretary. Spacey has previously starred in the film version of Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, and has taken to the Old Vic stage in productions including A Moon For The Misbegotten and Richard II.

The season is completed by the previously announced Bridge Project productions of Hamlet and The Tempest. The Bridge Project, which runs for three years, sees Mendes direct a company of actors that will present a double bill of works at the Old Vic, Brooklyn Academy of Music and at least one other international venue. Hamlet and The Tempest run between May and June 2008.

The final show in the 2006/7 season, Gaslight, begins previewing on 7 June, before opening on 14 June. The thriller stars Rosamund Pike as a young woman, oppressed by her husband, who is convinced that she is going mad.

MA

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