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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Mendes and Spacey in theatre link
Sam Mendes and Kevin Spacey
Spacey (r) said he wanted The Old Vic to have a US "presence"
Director Sam Mendes is reuniting with Kevin Spacey, with whom he made Oscar-winning film American Beauty, to set up a transatlantic theatre company.

The Bridge Project will perform two works a year at The Old Vic in London, where Spacey is artistic director, and New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Mendes will direct Hamlet and The Tempest next year plus The Winter's Tale and The Cherry Orchard in 2009.

Actors Simon Russell Beale and Stephen Dillane have already been recruited.

Beale will play Leontes in The Winter's Tale and Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard.

And the title role in Hamlet will go to Dillane, along with the character of Prospero in The Tempest.

Mendes spent 10 years as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse in London, during which time he worked with both actors on separate projects.

Sam Mendes outside a cinema in 2000
Mendes' American Beauty won five Oscars, including best film
He described The Old Vic and the Brooklyn Academy of Music as "two of the greatest theatres in the world".

And Spacey added that he hoped the project would help to take the "conversation" between the theatre communities in the two cities "to a new level".

It is intended that the company will have at least one other residency outside the UK or US in each of the three years of the initial agreement.

There will be a month-long stint at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan in 2008, with other European venues being considered in the following two years.


SEE ALSO
Kate and Sam on Broadway
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Spacey defends Old Vic management
13 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Mendes' anti-war-movie war movie
13 Jan 06 |  Entertainment
Mendes triumphs at Oliviers
14 Feb 03 |  Entertainment
Broadway raves over Mendes
22 Jan 03 |  Entertainment
American Beauty's Oscar triumph
28 Mar 00 |  Oscars 2000

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