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Thursday, 27 July, 2000, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
Spacey backs British theatre
Kevin Spacey
Spacey was introduced to the Old Vic as a child
Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey has launched a company which aims to raise more than 1m to fund new UK theatre venues and productions.

The American Beauty star was in London on Wednesday to promote the new initiative called Old Vic Productions for which he will also act as consultant.

Passionate about the London stage and the Old Vic in particular, Spacey revealed that he had also invested more than 100,000 of his own money into the venture.

Kevin Spacey in American Beauty
American Beauty star Spacey is one of Hollywood's most sought after actors

"It continues to be the favourite theatre I've probably ever played in," Spacey said about the famous London venue.

The American - who turned 41 on Wednesday - explained he had first been introduced to the Old Vic as a child, and had been enthralled by it since then.

But, he said, it was only when he appeared there last year in The Iceman Cometh that he became interested in getting involved in securing its future.

Ambition

Spacey's own immediate future, however, lies in films.

Considered one of Hollywood's hottest properties since his award-winning performances in American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, he is lined up to do a string of movies.

His first project is a film called K-Pax, in which he plays a mental patient who may come from another planet.

Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole would be Spacey's dream stage co-star

In time, however, Spacey said his dream would be to return to the London stage in a comedy - ideally co-starring veteran British actor Peter O'Toole.

"I hear he is very naughty on stage - so I might giggle a lot," said Spacey.

The play would, he added, be run by American Beauty director Sam Mendes.

If Old Vic Productions proves successful Spacey could find he is able to tie in both sides of his career in more ways.

One of his ideas for boosting theatre attendance is to introduce film shows so that places like the Old Vic don't just "rest on tradition".

See also:

28 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Spacey not in the Pink
17 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
Spacey's on a roll
18 Feb 00 | Entertainment
O'Toole honoured at Oliviers
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