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Matthew Warchus to replace Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic

Matthew Warchus is to succeed Kevin Spacey as artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre.

Warchus, who has directed shows such as Ghost and Matilda in the West End, will take up the post in the autumn next year when Spacey steps down. Spacey is currently in his tenth year as artistic director, having taken up the post in 2004.

Warchus was previously linked to the venue in 2002, when reports suggested he had become the venue’s first artistic director. However, a spokeswoman said Warchus had only been an associate director at the theatre before now. In 2008 he directed Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in Speed-the-Plow.

Warchus, who is credited with having directed more than 70 shows in London and on Broadway, said he was honoured to be following Spacey’s “galvanising tenure”.

“He has re-established the Old Vic as globally important theatre and I look forward to continuing to develop it as a hub of invigorating creativity,” he added.

Spacey said he had “long admired” Warchus’ work and described him as a “thoughtful, intuitive and highly creative director”.

“I know he loves our theatre and I am delighted for our staff, our audiences and for our acting and production communities that he will be its next guardian,” he said.

Old Vic chairman Nick Clarry described Warchus’s appointment as “key”.

“We believe that the next few years will be a very exciting time for the Old Vic. Our goals are to continue to develop our artistic programme under Matthew’s leadership, to continue with our outreach work, to establish our endowment fund, and then to redevelop our historic building after the bicentenary in 2018,” he said.