The final instalment of Sam Mendes’s Bridge Project, starring Kevin Spacey in the title role of Richard III, will now open at the Old Vic on 29 June 2011 (previews from 18 June), despite a previous statement saying the project would be delayed until 2012.
The Bridge Project, which began in 2009, is a three-year initiative which sees Mendes direct a transatlantic company of actors in a season of work staged at both London’s Old Vic and New York’s Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM).
The final year’s single production – both previous years have comprised two plays – had been due to premiere at BAM in early 2012 before embarking on an international tour which would finish at the Old Vic in May of that year.
According to a spokesperson, scheduling changes now enable a reversal, with Spacey’s performance in Shakespeare’s iconic role to be seen first in London in June 2011, before an international tour culminating at BAM in January 2012.
Richard III marks the first time Spacey and Mendes have worked together as actor and director since they both won Oscars for 1999 film American Beauty. Since then Mendes, the former Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, has gone on to direct films including Revolutionary Road and Road To Perdition. Spacey, meanwhile, became Artistic Director of the Old Vic in 2003 and has maintained a presence on screen while also appearing in stage productions including Speed-The-Plow, A Moon For The Misbegotten and Inherit The Wind.
Full casting details for Richard III is yet to be announced. Booking opens on 31 January for the Old Vic run, which will end on 11 September 2011.