Kevin Spacey, who has led the Old Vic as artistic director since 2004, will hand over the reins of the company to veteran stage director Matthew Warchus starting in the fall of 2015, the London theater announced on Thursday.
Warchus is a versatile director whose stage productions have run the gamut between prestige dramas and family-friendly musicals.
He won a Tony Award for directing Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage,” which was seen in London, New York and Los Angeles. His other directing credits include the musical “Matilda,” which is currently on Broadway and will tour the U.S.; and the revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy “The Norman Conquests,” which was seen at the Old Vic and on Broadway.
He has also dabbled in film, having directed the 1999 movie “Simpatico,” based on the Sam Shepard play, and the upcoming “Pride.”
Warchus’ appointment comes amid a changing of the guard at three other prestigious theater companies in London. Rufus Norris will become artistic director of the National Theatre starting in April 2015, succeeding Nicholas Hytner.
Rupert Goold recently took over as artistic director of the Almeida Theatre, succeeding Michael Attenborough. In 2012, Gregory Doran was named artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Warchus is currently an artistic associate at the Old Vic and has directed a number of productions there. In addition to “The Norman Conquests,” he directed Spacey and Jeff Goldblum in David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow” in 2008.
Under Spacey, the Old Vic has seen its international profile rise with productions such as a touring version of Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” starring Spacey, and other revivials.
The “House of Cards” actor is set to appear in the one-man play “Clarence Darrow” at the Old Vic, with performances starting Wednesday and running through June 15.