The Bridge Project delayed

The Bridge Project delayed

The Bridge Project, which was to begin in 2008, has been delayed a year after Stephen Dillane, due to play the lead roles in the first season’s double bill of Hamlet & The Tempest, pulled out.

A statement said: “With great regret and due to personal reasons arising from family illness, Dillane has had to withdraw from the initial cycle of this three-year initiative...The producers of The Bridge Project accept his decision with great sympathy and look forward to the future date when his partnership with Mendes in this venture will be resumed.”

The project was a new 3 year transatlantic venture for Sam Mendes and Caro Newling's Neal Street Productions, Joseph V Melillo's Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New York, and Kevin Spacey's The Old Vic, London, in which each year a single Anglo/American company is to perform a double-bill of classic works at BAM and at The Old Vic, and make at least one other international visit.

In 2008, Sam Mendes was to direct Stephen Dillane in the title role of Hamlet and 'Prospero' in The Tempest at BAM, New York, Piccolo Teatro, Milan and then The Old Vic in May . This has now been cancelled.

The project is now expected to start in 2009, when Sam Mendes will direct Simon Russell Beale as 'Leontes' in The Winter’s Tale and 'Lopakhin' in The Cherry Orchard

In 2010, Sam Mendes will direct a pairing of plays to be confirmed!

The full company will be drawn from leading British and American actors.

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