Kevin Spacey’s Richard III to feature in National Portrait Gallery
A portrait of Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey as Richard III will be included in a new exhibition of work by artist Jonathan Yeo at the National Portrait Gallery this September.
Spacey appeared as Shakespeare’s villain in a 2011 revival of the play, directed by Sam Mendes at the Old Vic.
Yeo said: “When Kevin came to London to take over the Old Vic, critics were lining-up to predict that he’d only last a few months before jumping straight on a plane back to Hollywood. The fact he has stuck at it for ten years, revitalising the international reputation of British theatre, made him an obvious choice for inclusion in my first display at the National Portrait Gallery.
“We decided to put him in character as Shakespeare’s notorious villain, partly as a nod to the tradition of theatrical portraits of the past, and partly as a celebration of what may go down as his most memorable stage role. The main dilemma with painting a great actor in a role is knowing how much you are portraying the man and how much the character he is playing. In the end I tried to leave it to the viewer to decide for themselves.”
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.