Spacey is in his first season as artistic director of the Old Vic. He made it clear when he took the directorship last year he intended to act in some of its productions when time allowed.
In the McIntyre drama, which is in previews, he is cast as a mysterious neighbor of a socially ambitious suburban Detroit couple played by Mary Stuart Masterson and Steven Weber. The play had its premiere at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, Conn., in 1988 with Spacey playing the same role.
The Old Vic opened in London in 1818 and has been home to theatrical, opera and ballet companies, including the Vic-Wells Ballet (now the Royal Ballet) and the Sadler's Wells Opera. It was closed in 1963 and resumed operations in 1983. "National Anthem" opens officially next Tuesday and will run through April 23.