BBC News – Kevin Spacey’s Richard III wows critics

Kevin Spacey’s Richard III wows critics

Kevin Spacey as Richard IIISam Mendes has said Richard III is “a role I think Kevin was born to play”

Hollywood star Kevin Spacey has won critical praise for his portrayal of Richard III at London’s Old Vic theatre.

The Oscar winner plays Shakespeare’s famous villain with his leg in a metal brace, and limps with a walking stick.

The production, set in the modern day, reunites Spacey with American Beauty director Sam Mendes.

Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington praised Spacey’s “powerful central performance”.

“Sam Mendes has come up with a beautifully clear, coherent modern-dress production in which the protagonist becomes an autocratic archetype,” he said.

Mendes directed Spacey in 1999’s American Beauty, which gained the star the Oscar for best actor.

With its contemporary setting, the story draws parallels to dictatorial regimes currently making the headines.

As James Woodall points out in his review for The Arts Desk: “Mendes provides a visually arresting, sonically sharp, sartorially unfussy reading. Richard is surrounded by slick-suited lackeys and spooks. Evocation of Libya-like implosion and militarism is plainly intended.”

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