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Kevin Spacey will be in Istanbul with his latest play Richard III

Istanbul Theatre Festival (IKSV) & Istanbul Municipal Theatres will host a special co-production in October sponsored by Vodafone RED. Directed by Sam Mendes and featuring Kevin Spacey in the title role, Richard III will be in Istanbul in October with five special performances.

Richard III, the production of which the world premiere has taken place on June 29 and made tremendous effect, will be put on stage on the nights of Wednesday, October 5; Thursday, October 6; Friday, October 7; Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9 at 20.30 at Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage.

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Constituting the third pillar of the Bridge Project realised by the partnership of Old Vic, BAM & Neal Street, Richard III brought together renowned British and American artists under the directorship of Sam Mendes. Bringing together Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); Old Vic, one of London’s long-established theatre companies of which artistic directorship is assumed by Kevin Spacey; and Neal Street, Academy Award-winner British director Sam Mendes and Caro Newling’s theatre company; this project is being looked forward to in all the world cities included in the tour. Portraying Richard III, Kevin Spacey is accompanied in the play by formidable actors and actresses such as Maureen Anderman, Haydn Gwynne, Chuk Iwuji, Gemma Jones and Chandler Williams.

Sam Mendes and Kevin Spacey had won 5 Academy Awards including the Academy Awards for the “Best Actor” and “Best Director” in 1999 for the film American Beauty on which they collaborated. The duo came together again on theatre stage after an interval of 12 years, this time for the project Richard III, one of Shakespeare’s historical plays and perhaps the strongest one among them.

Commenting on the final season, Sam Mendes says: “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”.

Kevin Spacey says: “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. I love Sam’s perspective on a role, carving and shaping the actor. With such a remarkable character before me I have a feeling this one is going to be memorable experience. It is also my hope to bring a comprehensive educational programme and opportunities for emerging artists along our travels, making an argument for the living theatre in all major cities we will visit throughout 2011. We’re delighted that Bank of America Merrill Lynch has come on board for another season as our sponsor and I applaud their continued support for our work.”

Rena DeSisto, Global Arts and Culture Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says: “Our partnership with The Bridge Project has been an important part of our global programme of support for the arts. Each stop on the tour results in thousands of people enjoying fine theatre and sharing a cultural experience with theatregoers throughout the world. The arts are unparalleled in their ability to create shared, moving experiences for people of diverse cultures, and Bank of America remains committed to supporting these opportunities.”

Its world premiere having taken place on June 29 at the Old Vic Theatre in London, “Richard III” was highly praised by the British press. Especially Kevin Spacey’s performance in the title role got thumbs up from critics. After the performances in Athens, Hong Kong and Spain, “Richard III” will come to Istanbul in October for five special performances. Following the performances in Istanbul on October, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, the production will continue the tour with performances in Beijing, Singapore and Sydney.