Entertainment & Arts

Kevin Spacey reprimands theatre-goer over mobile phone

Kevin Spacey Image copyright Old Vic
Image caption Kevin Spacey has played the lawyer Clarence Darrow in a number of productions

Actor Kevin Spacey castigated a theatre-goer whose mobile phone went off during the opening night of his one-man show.

The Oscar winner is performing legal drama Clarence Darrow as he marks the end of his 10 years as artistic director at London's Old Vic.

During a scene in which Darrow, a civil rights lawyer, delivers a courtroom speech, a phone began to ring.

Spacey turned to the audience and said: "If you don't answer that, I will!"

The audience applauded Spacey, who remained in character during the interruption.

The House of Cards actor is stepping down from his role at the Old Vic in 2015 to be replaced by Matthew Warchus, the director of Matilda.

In David Rintels' Clarence Darrow, Spacey has returned to a character he has previously played on stage, as well as in a film adaptation for PBS television. But this is his first turn in a one-man play.

'Often spellbinding'

His performance at the Old Vic has earned glowing reviews, with The Guardian saying Spacey gives a "big, barnstorming performance as the famed American lawyer".

Michael Billington's review added: "It is a mighty performance that brings out Darrow's bravura humanitarianism and it leaves one hoping that, even after Spacey hands over the Old Vic to Matthew Warchus next year, it will not be his farewell to the London stage."

In his four star review, The Telegraph's Charles Spencer said that "Spacey prowls around the stage like a battered old prize fighter, constantly on the move as he buttonholes members of the audience, and radiates a charisma and dramatic attack that is often spellbinding".

He added: "Thea Sharrock's production... rarely loosens its dramatic grip, but it is the power and palpable humanity of Spacey's performance that makes this evening so special."

The Mail's Quentin Letts also gave it a four star review and lamented Spacey's departure from The Old Vic.

"The London stage has been fortunate to have him and this cracking performance, despite a so-so play, sees him at the top of his art. Exit Kevin the king," he wrote.

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