While the Royal Shakespeare Company has yet to announce dates or full production details, the BBC has confirmed that, as previously tipped (See The Goss, 6 Jul 2007), David Tennant (pictured) will take a break from filming its hit TV series Doctor Who in order to take the title role in Hamlet in a new RSC production scheduled to run in rep in Stratford-upon-Avon from July to November next year.

Tennant is currently filming the 2008 series of Doctor Who, but his RSC commitments will prevent him from filming one for 2009. The BBC has said that the actor has agreed to return, post RSC, to film the sci-fi TV programme’s five series, due to be aired in 2010.

While now best known to TV fans for his adventures in the Tardis, Tennant launched his career on stage in his native Scotland. His early career also included two seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company, where his Shakespearean roles included Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, Touchstone in As You Like It (for which he won an Ian Charleson Award commendation) and Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors.

Tennant’s many other stage credits include Lobby Hero, for which he was Olivier nominated, at the Donmar Warehouse and in the West End; The Real Inspector Hound, Black Comedy, Hurlyburly and Vassa in the West End; Push-up at the Royal Court and What the Butler Saw at the National.

His last London stage appearance was at the National in the 2003 premiere of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman (pictured), while his last full stage production was a revival of Look Back in Anger, which ran in Edinburgh and Bath in 2005. Tennant also took part in 50th anniversary rehearsed reading of John Osborne’s modern classic at the Royal Court last year.

The RSC is due to announce details of its 2008 programme at a press briefing next Tuesday 11 September. The season is also expected to feature Patrick Stewart as Claudius in Hamlet, as well as new productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice and Love’s Labour’s Lost, in which David Tennant would play Berowne (See The Goss, 3 Sep 2007).

- by Terri Paddock