We’re still moderately traumatised by the fact that London’s most famous artistic director, Kevin Spacey, is finally bowing out as Old Vic boss next year. After a rocky start in 2003, he’s used his star power, celebrity connections and populist-but-classy programming to revive the grand old theatre’s fortunes – he returns to its stage at the end of the month with one-man-show ‘Clarence Darrow‘, which sold out almost instantly.
So daunting shoes to fill. But filled they will be: despite persistent rumours that Kenneth Branagh would get the gig, it was announced today that Old Vic artistic associate and super heavyweight director Matthew Warchus will take over running of the 195-year-old theatre from autumn 2015.
Warchus is no stranger to success, having directed the RSC’s brilliantly anarchic ‘Matilda the Musical‘. He was also responsible for the massive success of the Old Vic’s 2009 revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘The Norman Conquests’, which transferred to Broadway and bagged him a Tony nomination for best director. Plus, he’s done heaps of big bang stuff – from 2011’s ‘Ghost the Musical’ to 2007’s triumphant ‘Boeing Boeing’ which transferred to Broadway.
In other words, the man knows how to pull off a smash-hit. Let’s see what happens… Daisy Bowie-Sell
Clarence Darrow is on at the Old Vic from May 28.