Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

Actor Simm to take on Hamlet

John Simm in Life on Mars
Simm is best known for his TV work, such as Life on Mars

Actor John Simm, best known for TV dramas Life On Mars and State of Play, is to star as Hamlet in a new production of the Shakespearean play.

Simm is following in the footsteps of David Tennant and Jude Law as the latest high profile actor to play the Danish prince.

The play will open at the Sheffield Crucible in September 2010, following a £15.3m redevelopment of the theatre.

Simm is currently appearing in Speaking In Tongues in London's West End.

His other credits include the films Human Traffic, 24 Hour Party People and Wonderland. His TV work also includes Doctor Who, The Lakes and Sex Traffic.

The production will reunite Simms with Sheffield's associate director Paul Miller, with whom he has previously collaborated.

'Scary role'

They worked together on stage productions Goldhawk Road and Elling, for which Simm received as best actor Olivier Award nomination.

Daniel Evans, the theatre's artistic director, told the BBC it was "very exciting" to have Simm on board.

"When a major actor like John comes along, who people know for his brilliant TV work, it is a privilege to make it happen," he said.

"Paul and John have this brilliant long-standing relationship and he knew immediately that who his ideal Hamlet would be.

"It is potentially a very scary role, but it has become one of those roles that every major actor leaps through. It can be a test of your mettle."

The theatre, which has been closed to the public for two years, will reopen on 17 February with An Enemy of the People, starring Sir Anthony Sher and directed by Evans.

He added: "The reopening is a huge deal for the theatre, and for the whole city. People have really missed the place."

Simm follows former Doctor Who stars Christopher Eccleston, who played Hamlet in 2002 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and Tennant, who played the role for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2008.

Law is currently playing Hamlet on Broadway following a successful run at London's Donmar Warehouse.



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SEE ALSO
Mars star returning to West End
29 Jun 09 |  Entertainment
TV's Simm escapes to the stage
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