John Boyega Heads to London Stage in 'Woyzeck'

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John Boyega

The 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' actor will appear in a new version of the drama by Jack Thorne, the playwright behind the upcoming 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.'

John Boyega, the 24-year-old British actor who shot to fame in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will freshen up his stage chops early next year in a new version of Georg Buchner's influential 19th century drama Woyzeck.

Written by Jack Thorne, the playwright behind the upcoming two-part theater event Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the production was announced Wednesday as part of London theater company The Old Vic's upcoming season.

Often described as a working-class tragedy, Woyzeck centers on a low-ranking soldier who undergoes dehumanizing treatment that pushes him to commit a shocking act of violence. The Old Vic website calls Thorne's update an unforgettable howl of rage for our time.

Directed by Joe Murphy, the play is set to run Feb. 25-April 15.

The production will mark Boyega's first appearance on the London stage since his film career took off after turning heads in the 2011 Brit sci-fi comic thriller Attack the Block. He is set to reprise his starring role as rebel stormtrooper Finn in Star Wars: Episode VIII, due in December 2017. In the meantime, he will next be back on screens starring opposite Tom Hanks and Emma Watson in James Ponsoldt's The Circle, based on the Dave Eggars novel.

The Old Vic also has confirmed that two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson will return to the stage after a quarter-century absence in politics to play the title character in King Lear, heading a cast that also includes Jane Horrocks and Rhys Ifans. Directed by Deborah Warner, it runs Oct. 25-Dec. 3.

The company this summer will premiere the Broadway-bound musical adaptation of Groundhog Day, staged by Old Vic artistic director Matthew Warchus and starring Andy Karl in the Bill Murray role of Pittsburgh TV weatherman Phil Connors.

Adapted by Danny Rubin from his own screenplay for the 1993 film, the show reunites Warchus with members of the key creative team from Matilda: composer-lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell. The production is set to run July 11-Sept. 17 in London, jumping to Broadway early next year.

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