After seeing Richard III at the Old Vic not long after my move to London in 2011, I was hoping for another chance to see Kevin Spacey on stage. My wish has now been fulfilled: he is appearing in David W. Rintels’ Clarence Darrow, a one-man play about the famous US defence lawyer.
Performed in the round, like the rest of the plays in the current season, it sees Spacey delivering a compelling and mesmerising performance, bringing the fascinating character of Clarence Darrow to life. Darrow was famous for several important cases, including the Scopes Monkey trial, in which a teacher was prosecuted for teaching the theory of evolution in the Bible Belt, and the Leopold and Loeb murder trial (which I already knew about having seen the film and the play Rope). His fight for justice and mercy, and his energy and commitment, come across marvellously – Darrow boasted that not one of the 102 men he defended who faced the death penalty were actually executed.
Although I was up in the balcony, I was still engaged with Spacey’s magnetic performance. He made good use of the whole space and brought what might have been a dry monologue to life. Unmissable.