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Tennant to play Richard II at RSC

David Tennant is to return to the Royal Shakespeare Company to star in the lead role of Richard II.

The former Doctor Who actor won acclaim for his performance in Hamlet in 2008 and the production went on to be screened by the BBC. He will appear in the historical drama in October at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, before transferring to the Barbican in London.

Other new RSC productions include adaptations of Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel's novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, which will be given world premieres at the Swan Theatre later this year.

Tennant's last RSC run became a hot ticket on the back of his appearances as the Time Lord, and critics raved about his performance. He went on to appear in a further Shakespeare play, with a West End run of Much Ado About Nothing, alongside his Doctor Who co-star Catherine Tate.

Richard II was dramatised by BBC2 last year for its Hollow Crown season, with Ben Wishaw playing in the title role.

Tennant said: "I'm very excited about being back at the RSC - it's my fourth visit, my fourth season with the company. It'll be getting on for 20 years since I was first there.

"I saw Derek Jacobi play Richard II when I was at drama school. He was touring and he came to Glasgow, and it was one of those formative experiences for me. I've seen the play many times since and always been fascinated by it."

He said of the role: "He's not a hero at all, he's quite a complicated character so I'm slightly daunted by the prospect of doing it justice but very excited to get a chance."

RSC artistic director Greg Doran said he was "delighted" Tennant was returning to the company for the production which runs for five weeks in Stratford - beginning on October 10 - with the Barbican performances from December 9.

The 2013 winter season also includes a new version of the JM Barrie classic with a world premiere of Wendy & Peter Pan in December. They have also announced a national writing competition for children between eight and 13 to create an original script which will be staged by the Matilda cast at London's Cambridge Theatre.

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