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Spacey to lead Old Vic - report

Spacey said the Old Vic is his favourite theatre
Spacey said the Old Vic is his favourite theatre

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LONDON, England -- Oscar winner Kevin Spacey is reported to become artistic director at his "favourite" theatre, London's Old Vic.

It would be the latest move in the Hollywood actor's love affair with the ailing company, if The Times report is confirmed at a news conference called by the 185-year-old theatre on Wednesday.

Spacey, who won Oscars for his roles in "The Usual Suspects" and "American Beauty," has appeared at the theatre in "The Iceman Cometh" and is due to appear in a fund-raising concert with Elton John on Wednesday.

The actor is a board member of the Old Vic Theatre Trust 2000, which was set up to save the 1,000-seat building from being turned into a bingo hall by a potential buyer.

Spacey, 43, has said of the Old Vic: "It continues to be the favourite theatre I've probably ever played in."

Some of Britain's elite thespians have tread the boards at the historic theatre, including Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Alec Guinness, Vivien Leigh, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith.

But the Old Vic, built in 1818, is decaying and needs repairs. The roof leaks, walls have grown mould and cracks can be seen between the bricks and masonry.

The position of artistic director is currently empty.

Spacey and John, who is chairman of the trust, announced last November they would put on a one-night show to raise funds.

Old Vic
London's Old Vic still attracts the best actors

The actor said in an interview with a newspaper in July 2000: "There is no better present for me than to have money come to the Old Vic."

Theatregoers have paid up to 1,000 to attend Wednesday evening's event, raising what organisers hope will be a total of 700,000.

Among those reported to appear is singer Courtney Love, who was arrested as her flight landed at London's Heathrow airport. (Full Story)

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