Matt Smith, known for playing Doctor Who in the eponymous BBC series and the Duke of Edinburgh in Netflix’s “The Crown” is returning to London’s West End.
Smith will headline an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play “An Enemy of the People” at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre. In “An Enemy of the People,” when Dr. Stockmann makes an unbelievable discovery about the healing waters in his local baths, he holds the future of the town in his hands, but those with everything to lose refuse to accept his word. The battle goes beyond contaminated water. Smith will play Stockmann.
The play has been adapted numerous times for the stage and screen. This adaptation was originally in the German language by Thomas Ostermeier and Florian Borchmeyer and it is the first time it will be performed in English. Ostermeier’s version, conceived and directed by Ostermeier, originally produced at Schaubühne Berlin, was previously performed at London’s Barbican in 2014.
Smith was last on stage in 2019, starring in “Lungs” at the Old Vic. He has since been in films “Last Night in Soho,” “The Forgiven” and “Morbius” and in series “House of the Dragon.”
“Thomas Ostermeier pushes the form and boundaries of theatre, I have been a fan for quite some time. Seeing his ‘Richard III’ with Lars Erdinger was electric,” Smith said. “When I heard he was interested in coming to the British stage for the first time, with Ibsen’s classic ‘An Enemy of the People,’ I was delighted to say the least. It is an honor to be able to work with him on this great play and become part of this unique project.”
Ostermeier added: “As we face the immediate impact of climate change and global warming, and our seeming incapacity to change these burning threats, Ibsen’s ‘An Enemy of the People’ is unfortunately more relevant than ever. This is an urgent reason to create an English version of the production for London, and I look forward to collaborating with Matt Smith, an actor whose body of work I greatly admire.”
“An Enemy of the People” is produced by David Binder Productions and Wessex Grove. David Binder, Benjamin Lowy, and Emily Vaughan-Barratt said: “It is thrilling to be able to announce the magnificent artistic marriage of Thomas Ostermeier, his seminal ‘An Enemy of the People,’ and the extraordinary actor Matt Smith for the West End next year. This celebrated production has been enjoyed in German around the world and to be able to present this production in English at the Duke of York’s is an absolute privilege. Matt is a brilliant and daring actor who is going to thrill audiences as Dr. Stockmann, and Thomas is a visionary artist, and we are so lucky he is making his West End debut with this admired production.”
It opens at the Duke of York’s Theatre on Feb. 6, 2024 and will play through Apr. 6.