Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee’s 1955 play, which runs at the Old Vic from 18 September to 20 December (press night 1 October), is a courtroom drama in which two legal titans, Henry Drummond (Spacey) and Matthew Harrison Brady (Troughton), confront each other when a close knit community puts freedom of thought on trial.
Troughton was last seen on the London stage in Alan Bennett’s Enjoy, which had a successful run at the Gielgud theatre following a regional tour. A long-time member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Troughton has made numerous appearances with the company and has London stage credits including Measure For Measure and Peter Pan at the National Theatre, The Skin Of Our Teeth at the Young Vic and Our Father at the Almeida theatre. He has been seen on television in Fingersmith, Casualty 1909 and New Tricks.
Also joining Troughton and Spacey in the company of Inherit The Wind are Paris Arrowsmith, Paul Birchard, Ken Bones, Adam Booth, David Burrows, Sonya Cassidy, Ian Conningham, Sam Cox, Mark Dexter, Mary Doherty, Branwell Donaghey, Janine Duvitski, Sarah Ingram, Nicholas Jones, Sid Livingstone, Simon Lee Phillips, Sam Phillips, Vincent Pirillo, Christopher Ragland, Susan Tracy and Janet Whiteside.
They are directed by Nunn, whose extensive back catalogue of directorial credits includes Hamlet and Richard II at the Old Vic. Commenting on returning to the venue to direct Inherit the Wind, Nunn said: “I directed scenes from this remarkable play when I was a student and realised then just how electric and involving it could be for audiences. So I feel unusually fulfilled, more than a generation later, to be able to direct Kevin Spacey and David Troughton in this Titanic clash of ideas. The debate it presents, that goes to the heart of what freedom means in America, continues to find its way into the courtrooms of the United States in Darwin’s Anniversary year. Somehow I don’t think Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee would be surprised.”