Kevin Spacey to play Richard III in Doha

November 17, 2011 - 12:35:04 am


Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey will play the title role in Shakespeare’s Richard III for two performances at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), as part of an international tour backed by the Doha Film Institute (DFI).

The production, directed by Academy Award Winner Sam Mendes, who worked with Spacey on the 1999 film American Beauty, will be hosted at the QNCC on December 16 and 17 in association with the Middle East Theatre Academy.

Qatar is the only Middle East destination included in the global tour with scheduled performances in Greece, Spain, Hong Kong, Singapore and Istanbul amongst others. The Richard III tour kicked off amid great critical acclaim at The Old Vic on June 29 this year.

Tickets to the global production go on sale from today and can be purchased online: or from the DFI Box Office located at Building 26, Katara Cultural Village.

As part of its commitment to foster arts education and emerging talent, DFI has also partnered with the Kevin Spacey Foundation to offer acting workshops to two local schools as part of its inaugural flagship project Richard’s Rampage, an initiative spanning eleven countries and three continents.

The program will offer students an opportunity to participate in a bespoke workshop and enjoy free tickets to the actual performance of Richard III. Selected students get to participate in an exclusive Q and A session with Kevin Spacey and contribute to creating a film that includes young people from around the world.

Mendes directs a formidable cast of British and American actors, including Maureen Anderman as the Duchess of York; Haydn Gwynne as Queen Elizabeth; Chuk Iwuji as Duke of Buckingham; Gemma Jones as Queen Margaret; and Chandler Williams as George, Duke of Clarence.

“I am absolutely delighted to be working with Kevin again for the first time since American Beauty, and I am doubly thrilled that he is leading year three of The Bridge Project. Richard III is a play I love, and a role I think Kevin is born to play. I’m also thrilled that the partnership between our three entities has strengthened and blossomed over the course of this venture, along with a host of invaluable international partnerships that have enabled us to extend the reach of global touring year after year,” said Mendes.

“Sam is one of the finest directors I have had the pleasure to work with and to gain this opportunity is beyond my wildest hopes. With such a remarkable character before me I have a feeling this one is going to be a memorable experience. It is also my hope to bring a comprehensive educational programme and opportunities for emerging artists along with our travels, making an argument for the living theatre in all the major cities we will visit throughout 2011,” said Spacey.

The tour is part of The Bridge Project, an initiative that brings together British and American actors in classic theatre productions. Currently in its third year, The Bridge Project is a unique collaboration between London’s Old Vic Theatre, BAM (the Brooklyn Academy of Music) and the independent UK production company Neal Street presented by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Through DFI, Doha is a co-commissioner city for the Middle East leg of the production.

Amanda Palmer, Executive Director of the DFI, said: “Qatar already has a small but vibrant local theatre scene, and this international production can only add to the appreciation of developing the local and international theatre. We’re also pleased to see Kevin Spacey’s interest in working with local talent through his educational program, which will see him collaborate with young talent from Doha in a series of acting workshops, both in school and on stage”.