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Spacey takes leading role at Old Vic

Thesp to steer artistic direction of London theater

LONDON — Kevin Spacey is set to take over the artistic and commercial management of London’s Old Vic Theater, according to British press reports.

Spacey already sits on the board of trustees, and has been heavily involved in fund-raising for the theater since 1998, when he performed there in “The Iceman Cometh.”

His new role is expected to be announced Feb. 5, when he and Old Vic Trust chairman Elton John are due to co-host a gala to help pay for roof repairs. Matthew Warchus, director of Yasmina Reza’s hit “Art,” is currently artistic director of the Old Vic.

Spacey has personally contributed a six-figure sum to the 180-year-old theater’s fighting fund. Last summer he launched a fund-raising drive for the Old Vic in New York.

Over the past couple of years, he has spent an increasing amount of his time in London, becoming a mainstay of the town’s social and artistic scene.

Meanwhile, Courtney Love, one of the stars due to perform at Spacey’s gala, was arrested when she touched down at Heathrow Airport Tuesday. Airline officials said they called the police because Love was “verbally abusive” to cabin staff on the Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles.

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