Kevin Spacey defends the way he runs the Old Vic

Kevin Spacey defends the way he runs the Old Vic

Kevin Spacey, who has a 10-year contract with the Old Vic Theatre, has defended the way he runs the Theatre following poor notices and possible closure of the theatre for 5 months.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that his latest production Resurrection Blues, directed by Robert Altman, "didn't go down as well as any of us had hoped". "The unfortunate thing that happened on opening night is that the actors got hit with a case of the nerves and it kind of fell apart on that evening, and I think the reviews reflected that."Everyone was completely open and honest about the fact the show wasn't where it should have gotten, but I can tell you that after the critics' night, that cast pulled themselves together. "They started to deliver that play in a way that I think audiences saw a much better production than those critics saw."

He also denied press reports that actress Jane Adams - who played Emily - had stormed out of the play. "That's not true. There were artistic differences and there was a mutual decision that she should leave the production."

Speaking about the Old Vic going dark for about 5 months he said: "We never announced a production for the summer slot and therefore we haven't cancelled anything - we just haven't scheduled anything. "We took a view that if we couldn't find the right production that we felt was financially right to produce, it was in our interest to put all of our resources and all of our efforts into the work that we're about to announce at the beginning of May." (Referring to the Old Vic's next run of plays.) "It's not ideal," he said, "but at the same time we're trying to get a financially responsible position."

The next production at the Old Vic is now not expected until September, with Eugene O'Neill's MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN , starring Kevin Spacey.

The critic's view of Kevin Spacey's productions at the Old Vic so far...

Cloaca (Sep 2004) received poor notices: "A curiously underwhelming affair." (INDEPENDENT); "Cloaca seems strained, muddled and often jaw-droppingly improbable....I've had more fun lying in gutters than sitting through this comedy."(DAILY TELEGRAPH); "Unexciting tragi-comedy."(EVENING STANDARD); "Thin, stale play." (FINANCIAL TIMES).

Aladdin Christmas 2004 and 2005) with Ian McKellen received good notices: "A wicked, comic pleasure."(EVENING STANDARD); "McKellen is clearly having terrific fun and so, much of the time, are we."(THE TIMES); "Bouncy, colourful and patchy production." (THE INDEPENDENT)

National Anthems (Feb 2005) starring Kevin Spacey received poor notices: "Boring, almost interest-free event."(EVENING STANDARD); "Another dud."(DAILY TELEGRAPH); "...the acting isn't the problem. But the choice of play is."(THE TIMES);

Philadelphia Story (May 2005) starring Kevin Spacey receives mixed notices: "Sluggish production" (DAILY TELEGRAPH); "Hit-and-miss affair." (INDEPENDENT); ""Barry's play is amiable, bland stuff....It is, in short, a mixed evening." (GUARDIAN).

Richard II (Oct 2005) starring Kevin Spacey received good notices: "You would need a heart of stone not to be stirred by Kevin Spacey." (EVENING STANDARD); "Nunn has always had the knack of making the most difficult plays seem easy in modern dress...The trick works brilliantly here" (INDEPENDENT); "Spacey's fine performance confirms his Shakespearean credentials...As a production, it is lively and energetic." (GUARDIAN); "There are undoubtedly some terrific moments from both Spacey, and from his director, Trevor Nunn." (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Resurrection Blues (Mar 2006) received poor notices: “A towering embarrassment” (EVENING STANDARD); “Bizarrely awful production.” (THE INDEPENDENT) “Clumsily inept, poorly acted production." (THE GUARDIAN); “The most terrible embarrassment.” (THE DAILY TELEGRAPH); “Interesting, uneven play…energy and tension are lacking.” (THE TIMES)

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