Freeman to be Richard III on stage
9:57am Friday 4th April 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Martin Freeman is heading to the West End stage to play Shakespeare's doomed king Richard III.
The Sherlock actor will play the title role in a run at the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End later this year.
It will be produced by Jamie Lloyd as part of the Trafalgar Transformed season which launched in 2013 with a production of Macbeth starring James McAvoy as the Scottish king.
Martin's co-star in the hit detective show, B enedict Cumberbatch, will play Hamlet in the capital next year.
Martin, who made his name playing Tim in the office, starred as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Hobbit films.
His stage career includes performances at the Royal Court in London and the National Theatre.
Mark Gatiss, who co-writes Sherlock and stars as the detective's brother Mycroft in the show, also recently appeared in the Donmar Warehouse version of another Shakespeare play, Coriolanus.
The play will run from July 1 to September 27.
Lloyd said: "I am thrilled to be returning to our transformed space at Trafalgar Studios and am delighted to kick off our second season with Shakespeare's astonishing power play, Richard III.
"Last year, through our £15 Mondays scheme, a staggering 51 per cent of the audience was comprised of first-time theatregoers, targeted with the help of organisations like the inspiring Mousetrap Theatre Projects (of which I am now a patron).
"I am confident that, with the brilliant and hugely popular Martin Freeman playing the title role in a provocative production, we will continue to attract a generational mix of theatregoers to our corner of the West End. I have wanted to work with Martin for many years and am sure he will bring something unexpected and unique to this iconic role."