Director Sam Mendes has been forced to cancel two of his London theatre projects after leading actor Stephen Dillane pulled out of the shows because of an illness in the family. Mendes was due to team up with his American Beauty star, Kevin Spacey, to present the William Shakespeare plays Hamlet and The Tempest at London's Old Vic Theatre next year (08) - where Spacey serves as Artistic Director. But Dillane's withdrawal from the two West End productions means the shows will now be shelved indefinitely. Instead, theatre fans can look forward to a 2009 reunion of Mendes and Spacey, when the filmmaker will direct Simon Russell Beale in The Winter's Tale and The Cherry Orchard.