Kevin Spacey brings forward the role of lifetime

Artistic Director and actor Kevin Spacey was due to play Richard III in 2012, but it was confirmed today that the production has been brought forward a year ahead of schedule.

The Old Vic have announced the play will open on 29th June 2011, before it sets off on an international tour.

Directed by Sam Mendes, Richard III will play to New York audiences in January 2012.

Richard III is a play I love, and a role I think Kevin is born to play

The production will mark the final season of The Bridge Project, a series of collaborations between the Old Vic, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Neal Street Productions- Mendes’ production company. The three year project aims to give the Old Vic a transatlantic profile and has seen US and British actors tour the world.

Spacey will follow in the footsteps of Laurence Olivier by playing one of Shakespeare’s greatest villains at the Old Vic.

When the project was originally announced last summer, Mendes said that he was “absolutely delighted to be working with Kevin again for the first time since American Beauty.”

Mendes added: “Richard III is a play I love, and a role I think Kevin is born to play.”

Spacey was equally excited revealing: “With such a remarkable character before me, I have a feeling this one is going to be a memorable experience.”

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