To Kevin Spacey

I’ve just watched your splendid interview with Piers Morgan and felt impelled to reach out and say that you reminded me of what a intelligent, driven, charismatic, formidable, witty, kinetic, visceral actor and theatre-maker you were (sorry, ARE!), and I felt (forgive the nostalgic indulgence) so sad and sorry about what’s happened to you as I had instant recall of two key moments of yours that I witnessed on stage at The Old Vic: one was taking a bunch of undergraduates to see ‘Speed-the-Plow’ back in 2008, which they loved, absolutely loved – especially the sharp ‘n’ sassy love-hate interplay between Fox & Gould (the wonderful Jeff Goldblum); the other was the magnificence of your Hickey in one of the best performances I / we have ever witnessed on stage (ANY stage, ANYWHERE) , where you scaled the mountain in that monumental play and planted your flag in mind ‘n’ memory for all time. 

Y’know what, Keven, I also remember seeing you as Jamie (I love that part) in ‘A Long Day’s Journey Into Night’ way back in ’86 at, if memory serves, the Haymarket, with Bethel Leslie, Peter Gallagher and, yes, the late and very great Jack Lemmon, who I know was so influential and inspirational to you.  Your Jamie simply burned – with a luminescence of addictive pain, sorrow, grief and the coulda woulda shoulda that connects to so many lost souls in O’Neill’s immersive-connective-humanist universe of huge plays with monumental themes that feel so, so intimate. That’s what YOU do, Kevin: on stage and screen you make the ‘burn’ – be it ‘Richard III’, ‘American Beauty’, ‘Inherit the Wind’, or ‘Seven’ – feel so, so connective, inclusive and, crucially, compelling and memorable.  So, let me end by saying: Shakespeare misses you, Mamet misses you, Rabe misses you, O’Neill misses you… and I miss you.

And I hope and trust (in this beautifully world so torn ‘n’ tattered by the sad, mad and bad) that I see you again soon – on stage, on screen, and in our hearts and minds as a reminder of what acting is, can be, and should be.  You are an actor supreme, Mr Spacey, and you’ve ‘done your time’ and it is high time to call time on your cruel and protracted expulsion; which has left us, the audience, the world, the poorer for not having you present. 

You are, though, VERY PRESENT in hearts ‘n’ minds – mine, too – and for what it’s worth I send you Kindest, Warmest Wishes, and, of course, health and happiness.  (I loved that you referred to Kirk Douglas / Dalton Trumbo / ‘Spartacus’ in those dark days of the Blacklist.  Yes, you said it perfectly – “Enough”).  Yours, soulfully, DRAY.

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