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Critics bow to Kevin Spacey's Richard III at the Old Vic

1st July 2011

Kevin Spacey's interpretation of one of Shakespeare's most famous villains has received significant critical acclaim at the Old Vic theatre.

The Hollywood actor, who is artistic director at the theatre, is currently starring in a production of King Richard III which reunites him with Sam Mendes, director of the Oscar-winning film American Beauty.

Spacey's 'powerful central performance' was applauded by the Guardian, which claimed Mendes has successfully relocated the play to the present day without compromising its dramatic power.

The Independent described the production as 'spine-tingling', saying the 12 years it has taken to reunite Mendes and Spacey has been 'worth the wait'.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph commented: 'There is a curious grace as he minces around on his withered leg and turned-in foot and exactly the right kind of glee in his villainy. His Richard is often laugh-out-loud funny.'

In the programme notes for the play, Spacey revealed he has given up smoking and drinking in order to cope with the physical and emotional demands of the role, which has previously been played by revered actors including Sir Ian McKellen and Kenneth Branagh.
 

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