Full casting and further international dates have been announced for Sam Mendes third and final transatlantic Bridge Project season, his production of Richard III, starring Kevin Spacey in the title role.

In addition to Annabel Scholey, Gemma Jones, Haydn Gwynne and Chuk Iwuji and Broadway’s Maureen Anderman and Chandler Williams, the Anglo-American company will include Jack Ellis, Katherine Manners, Simon Lee Phillips, Gary Powell, Michael Rudko, Hannah Stokely and Americans Stephen Lee Anderson, Jeremy Bobb, Nathan Darrow, Isaiah Johnson, Andrew Long and Howard Overshown.

Unlike the first two Bridge Project seasons, which launched from partner theatre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Richard III will open first at London’s Old Vic, where Spacey took over as artistic director in 2003. The production runs from 29 June to 11 September 2011 (previews from 18 June) at the Old Vic.

It will also tour internationally – taking a break from the West End for the Athens and Epidaurus Festival (29-31 July), and then post-London, visiting Hong Kong Arts Festival (16-18 September), Spain’s Centro Niemeyer (28 September-1 October) and Singapore Repertory Theatre (17-26 November) – before opening the new year at BAM, where it concludes from 10 January to 4 March 2012. Additional international 2011 dates are still to be announced.

Richard III reunites Kevin Spacey and Sam Mendes as actor and director for the first time since Mendes famously directed Spacey in 1999 film American Beauty, for which they both won Oscars.


In other play casting news, Olivier Award winner Samantha Spiro will be joined in the Royal Court’s upcoming production of Chicken Soup with Barley by comedian Tom Rosenthal (from TV’s Friday Night Dinner), Danny Webb, Harry Peacock, Alexis Zegerman, Ilan Goodman and newcomers Jenna Augen and Steve Furst. The revival, helmed by Court artistic director Dominic Cooke, runs in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from 7 June to 9 July 2011 (previews from 3 June).

Arnold Wesker’s semi-autobiographical state-of-the-nation play was last seen at the Sloane Square address more than 50 years ago. Spanning 20 years in the life of a family in the East End of London, the story commences in 1936, as the fascists are marching, sees disillusion setting in at the end of the war in 1946 and stirs up rumours of a Hungarian revolution over an empty cup in 1956. Samantha Spiro stars as Jewish matriarch Sarah Khan, a feisty political fighter and a staunch communist whose ideology collapses as her family disintegrates.

Chicken Soup with Barley is designed by Ultz, with lighting by Charles Balfour, sound by Gareth Fry and music by Gary Yershon.