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Call it a farewell gift from the London theater community.
Just before he steps down this fall as artistic director of The Old Vic, Kevin Spacey will be presented with a Special Award at the 2015 Olivier Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Tonys, which are to take place April 12 at London’s Royal Opera House.
The special honor is in recognition of Spacey’s critically and commercially successful 11-year tenure at the Old Vic, covering his work there as actor, director and producer, as well as his overall contribution to British theater.
Spacey’s leadership is widely acknowledged to have made the once flagging Old Vic a relevant stage institution again, securing its reputation in the London theater landscape as well as promoting the venerable theater around the globe.
“The Society of London Theatre is delighted to formally acknowledge Kevin Spacey’s outstanding contribution to The Old Vic,” said SOLT president Caro Newling. “In general, his advocacy of London theater has been a constant boon, and many of us will miss him as a valued colleague.”
Read more Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic Successor Named
The award also recognizes the Old Vic’s mentoring program for emerging talent, as well as its education and community work.
Spacey came on board as artistic director in 2004. He will hand over the reins of that post to Matthew Warchus later this year after starring in a return engagement of the one-man play Clarence Darrow, opening May 28.
Over the past 10 seasons, Spacey has appeared at the Old Vic in National Anthems, The Philadelphia Story, Richard II, Speed-the-Plow, Inherit the Wind and A Moon for the Misbegotten, which transferred to Broadway. He also starred in Sam Mendes‘ production of Richard III, which played both London and New York, and toured internationally.
Also while under Spacey’s leadership, the Old Vic production of Alan Ayckbourn‘s The Norman Conquests, directed by Warchus, transferred to Broadway, winning the 2009 Tony Award for best revival of a play.
Nominations in the competitive categories of the 2015 Olivier Awards will be announced March 9.
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