Theatre goers may soon be flocking to London hotels to catch a glimpse of Kevin Spacey starring in the Old Vic’s production of Shakespeare’s classic Richard III.
Critics have almost universally praised the stage production, which sees Spacey take on the deformed tyrant and reunites him with American Beauty director Sam Mendes.
The Daily Telegraph described the Hollywood actor’s performance as the “24-carat crowing glory” of his tenure as artistic director since 2003.
“This is an exciting and richly entertaining production,” gushed critic Charles Spencer, saying that it only missed greatness “by a whisker”.
The Guardian’s own theatre critic, Michael Billington, praised Spacey’s “powerful central performance”.
Mr Billington continued: “Sam Mendes has come up with a beautifully clear, coherent modern-dress production in which the protagonist becomes an autocratic archetype.”
Mendes was further praised by James Woodall of The Arts Desk, who hailed the director’s “visually arresting”, “sonically sharp” and “sartorially unfussy” telling.
He added: “Richard is surrounded by slick-suited lackeys and spooks. Evocation of Libya-like implosion and militarism is plainly intended.”
Most performances have now been sold out for Richard III, however, some under-25 tickets will remain available throughout the show’s run, alongside standing positions and returns on the day.
The show represents the final season of the Bridge Project, which saw some of the leading stage talents in New York and London work together on a three-year project in partnership with the Old Vic.
Co-starring Haydn Gwynne as Queen Elizabeth, Gemma Jones as Queen Margaret, Jack Ellis as Hastings and Chuk Iwuji as Buckingham, Richard III will soon be heading off for its international tour.
Mendes is set to direct the next James Bond film in Daniel Craig’s third contribution to the series.
Those unable to get into the final few showings of Richard III would be well advised to look at the John Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, which will be on show at the Old Vic from September 17th through to November 26th.